Indiana continues to pursue Illiana Expressway proposal

MUNSTER, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation has agreed to pay to make changes to an environmental impact statement to try to revive the proposed Illiana Expressway toll road project linking northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana.

INDOT submitted a document April 25 in U.S. District Court in Chicago stating it had reached an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation to pay for the technical work to comply with the court’s order on the expressway.

A judge ruled last year that the federal government’s approval of the 47-mile highway was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated U.S. environmental law.

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield told The Munster Times the agency estimates it will cost less than $150,000 to revise the document.

IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said Illinois is not pursuing the project.

In Illinois, the controversial project's fate in Illinois has changed several times in the last year with turnover in gubernatorial administrations.

Will County elected officials and business leaders have said the tollway would have relieved traffic congestion on Interstate 80 and create much-needed jobs. It was proposed to be built between Interstate 65 in Lake County and I-55 in Will County.

The Will County Board earlier this year voted to take the Illiana Expressway project off its legislative agenda, citing its lack of support by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration and the court’s ruling.

• Herald-News reporter Lauren Leone-Cross contributed to this report.