The South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, representing 42 communities in southern Cook and Will counties, applauds the Illinois Tollway Board's commitment to fund and build the long-awaited interchange connecting Interstate 57 and Interstate 294, as well as a new interchange at I-294 and 147th Street.
This commitments from the tollway, the governor and the Illinois Department of Transportation, from both an engineering and financial basis, could make the construction of the project a reality beginning as early as 2012.
This interchange is vital to the entire region from a transportation access standpoint as recognized in Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's 2040 Plan. In addition, though, it provides a vital link to further encourage economic development in the south suburbs, especially in the distribution, warehousing and manufacturing sectors. Its location near the expanding Canadian National Railroad intermodal facility in Harvey and numerous redevelopment sites in Dixmoor, South Holland, Homewood and Markham, as well as Harvey, gives our region and our state a unique opportunity to create jobs in an area that sorely needs jobs.
SSMMA will continue to work with the governor, the tollway, IDOT and our legislative partners to assure this long-promised project becomes a reality beginning in 2012.
- Edward W. Paesel, executive director, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, East Hazel Crest