In a meeting with Will County officials, representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation issued news that has long been the not-so-hidden secret behind the Illiana Expressway project: the project’s reality will hinge on the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).
CMAP does all the planning for all major infrastructure projects in Northeastern Illinois and the Illiana Expressway is not on the agency’s fiscally constrained project list.
“In order for us to get a record of decision on the Illiana, it has to get to the fiscally constrained plan so that is our next big step,” Fortman said, adding that a “rough” estimated cost for the project came to $1.25 billion, $950 million of which would be Illinois’ responsibility, with Indiana being responsible for the rest.
Currently the CMAP is set to vote on Illiana on October 9th. If CMAP approves the project, it will go a long way toward speeding up the project, which is still in its design stage. Representatives from the project estimated a final design deadline of Fall 2013, but a CMAP rejection would almost certainly delay that deadline.
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