The Illinois Tollway Board Advances the I-294 Central Tri-State Project

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the Central Tri-State project, which will bring far-reaching benefits to the region, including economic development, job creation, and the increased ability to stay competitive.

An effective regional transportation network guarantees the public’s access to jobs, schools, hospitals and so many other public services. It ensures that our businesses can deliver their products to markets and that consumers can access those markets. Investments in reliable transportation systems are about improving our quality of life and our economic competitiveness.

The proposed 22-mile expansion of I-294 between 95th Street and Balmoral Avenue is a project that will offer these benefits to the Chicago region.

This project would have a monumental impact on the regional economy, creating thousands of middle-class jobs and saving $330 million annually from reduced travel delays. The project will improve congestion bottlenecks at the I-294 and I-290, I-88, and I-55 interchanges and will provide “flex lanes” to support public transportation and emergency vehicles. In addition, the project will garner opportunities for local partnerships and reduce delays in crucial freight movements.

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As a statewide organization that provides dynamic analyses on major subjects affecting the economies of Illinois and the Midwest, ILEPI applauds today’s vote to modernize and invest in this crucial segment of the Tollway. The I-294 project will relieve congestion, increase connectivity, and create thousands of new jobs that will strengthen local communities and ensure the region’s future prosperity.

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