The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) expansion of the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) has been given federal approval to proceed with plans to add managed lanes and transit updates.
“The next phase of improvements on the ‘Ike’ will be another step to strengthening the state’s position as the transportation hub of North America,” says Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “This project will improve safety and mobility throughout the region while creating economic opportunity for generations to come.”
IDOT reports the Eisenhower Expressway was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with many portions of the original infrastructure still in use. It is designed for 100,000 vehicles to travel across it each day, but IDOT says the volume is now double that figure.
The $2.7 billion project includes proposals to add managed lanes that would offer a tolling option in each direction between Mannheim Road and Racine Avenue, additional transit options, expanded linkages between Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority and pedestrian and bicyclist enhancements.
“Currently, there is no funding identified to complete the final design and construction phases of the project,” the department reports. “All potential funding opportunities will be considered, including a public-private partnership.”
IDOT says the I-290 improvements were to begin after it increased capacity by adding managed lanes on I-55 to help ease traffic during construction.
“The (Illinois) General Assembly has not acted on a proposed joint resolution that would have allowed the state to pursue that project as a public-private partnership,” IDOT adds. “Because of the lack of funding, no timeline has been established for either the I-55 or I-290 improvements.”
More details on the project are available at eisenhowerexpressway.com.