The federal government on Thursday gave another green light for state officials to proceed with plans for the bistate Illiana toll road, but the action doesn’t guarantee that the controversial project will become reality.
Chief among the issues still unresolved is whether the project will have the backing of Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who has been non-committal on the Illiana.
The Federal Highway Administration issued a “record of decision” allowing Illinois and Indiana to move ahead with the final design, land acquisition and contracts for construction of the potential $1.3 billion project.
The decision acknowledges that Illinois and Indiana have successfully completed the required environmental impact analyses and that federal officials have signed off on the Illiana’s proposed 50-mile-long path.
The action “lays the foundation to move forward,” Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Guy Tridgell said. “There were no red flags raised.”
Several hurdles remain however. The most crucial decision will come from Rauner.
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