IL Tollway investing $609 million in 2012 for roads, bridges

The Illinois Tollway will invest nearly $609 million in 2012 for projects to repair and rebuild roadways, bridges and interchanges and other capital investments across the 286-mile system and begin the first year of the agency’s new $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

“The Move Illinois Program is a 15-year plan that will allow us to maintain our existing system of roadways and build new capacity to ensure that the Tollway will meet the needs of the Midwest region 10, 20 and 30 years from now,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in a press release.  “We want our customers to know about the construction planned in 2012 and how their tolls are being reinvested in the Tollway system.”

In 2012, new projects will include beginning construction of two new, all-electronic interchanges, including the new I-294/I-57 Interchange – one of two places in the nation where two interstates cross but do not connect.  $29.6 million is budgeted to construct new embankments and bridge piers and lengthen I-294 bridges over 147th Street.  Ramps to and from Champaign are expected to open in fall 2014. These ramps will provide 75 percent of the benefits of the new interchange and will help stimulate the slow economy of the Chicago Southland area.

An estimated $47.2 million is budgeted to begin construction of the new Illinois Route 47 interchange on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), including construction of new ramps, all-electronic toll collection and bridge reconstruction.  This project will feature several new green initiatives, including a geothermal water piping system that makes use of the earth’s natural heating and cooling abilities to help heat and cool nearby plaza buildings, reflective roofs and trellised vegetation for plaza buildings to further reduce heating and cooling costs, as well as ramp shoulder pavement that will allow water to seep through and reduce stormwater runoff.

More than $137 million will be spent on Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294) roadway resurfacing and ramp and bridge repairs, including work from 95th Street to Balmoral Avenue and from the Edens Spur to Half Day Road.

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In addition, $90.5 million will be used on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) to rebuild and widen a section of roadway from Deerpath Road to Illinois Route 56 in North Aurora, for roadway resurfacing from Illinois Route 56 to Illinois Route 251 in Rochelle and for bridge and ramp repairs along the corridor.  An additional $23.7 million has been set aside for ramp and lighting repairs throughout the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355).

An estimated $98.8 million will be spent for the reconstruction and widening of bridges throughout the I-90 corridor from the Kennedy Expressway to I-39 in Rockford and for shoulder improvements from Randall Road in Elgin to Mill Road in Rockford to prepare for upcoming reconstruction and widening of I-90. In addition, $14.9 million will be used to fund bridge design on the existing portion of the Elgin O’Hare Expressway between U.S. Route 20 and Rohlwing Road to prepare for bridge and roadway rehabilitation and widening.

Tollway customers will see the first construction projects begin in early spring on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) with other projects starting at various times from spring through fall.

New toll rates for cars are effective as of Jan.1, 2912, at midnight, according to the Illinois Tollway Authority.

At midnight on Jan.1, 2012, new toll rates for cars will take effect on the Illinois Tollway to fund systemwide infrastructure improvements. ers who pay cash.