Illinois State Transportation Secretary Ann Scheneider announced in early June an aggressive schedule for two massive WIll County projects–the proposed South Suburban Airport in Peotone and the Illiana Expressway, which would stretch from Lowell, IN to WIlmington, IL.

“Exciting is the only word, what else can you say?” said chamber of commerce president and chief executive Russ Slinkard. “We are on the map, no question about it.”

Airport construction could start in 2015 and the Illiana even sooner, Schneider said. All chapters of the airport master plan have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration “so the ball’s kind of in their court now,” she said.

If the FAA approves the airport plan in 2014, ground could be broken about a year after, Schneider said. During that year, IDOT could use quick-take powers to acquire land it has not already obtained for the inaugural airport footprint, she said.

There are still 73 sites left to be purchased for the South Suburban Airport.

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