- Kristian Lee
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Illiana Expressway to Bring Growth, New Jobs to Will County, IL
A historic partnership between the states of Illinois and Indiana gave the green light to constructing the Illiana Expressway, a 56-mile superhighway whose goal is to ease traffic congestion, create jobs and promote economic growth. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed an agreement to construct a roadway that connects Interstate 55 in Illinois with Interstate 65 in Indiana. An “outer encircling highway” that bypasses Chicago to the south, which was originally proposed in Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago more than 100 years ago, is now closer to becoming a reality.
“We are partners,” Quinn said as the two governors signed the agreement at a location on the Illinois/Indiana state line. “”They’re our allies, and we’ll work together for the betterment of both of our states and the whole region.” The Illiana Expressway is expected to create 14,000 new jobs in Illinois and enhance access to growing freight and trucking facilities in Will County.
Illinois’ and Indiana’s transportation departments will choose a consultant to begin environmental impact studies and evaluate the optimal routes later this year. A final plan should be recommended by 2015. Also under consideration are four-, six- and eight-lane configurations, including one that includes four truck-only lanes.
The Illiana Expressway will be convenient to two Will County land sites that Alter 360° represents in unincorporated Wilmington, IL. One is 30650 Route 53, a 7.98 acre parcel in unincorporated Will County at the corner of Route 53 and New River Road. Currently there is a 14,668 SF, 30-year-old industrial building on the south eastern corner. The asset is just five miles from Interstate 55 and the Centerpoint Intermodal center. The second is a three-parcel, 21.14-acre site on the northeast corner of Indian Trail Road and Peotone Road, just six miles from Interstate 55. Both sites are approximately 17 miles from the proposed South Suburban Airport.
With the ink barely dry on the bi-state agreement, no start date has been set for construction of the Illiana Expressway.