Did You Know

About the Project

Overview

The concept of an Illiana Corridor, a 50-mile access-controlled highway connecting Illinois south of Metropolitan Chicago to northwest Indiana, goes back to the early 1900s.  It has since been studied in a number of forms over the last 40 years.   These studies have shown benefits that include:

  • Providing an alternate route for motorists travelling the heavily-trafficked I-80 Borman Corridor;
  • Serving as a bypass for trucks around the congested metropolitan area highways;
  • Improving access to one of the largest intermodal freight areas in the US;
  • Improving access to the proposed South Suburban Airport;
  • Supporting economic development in the south of the lake region;
  • Substantial job creation.

As traffic volumes on other highways in the region have increased, the associated congestion has resulted in travel delays and substantial economic impacts on industries that depend on moving freight quickly and efficiently through the Midwest.

The existing roadway network in the study area does not include any east-west multi-lane roads.   This lack of higher type, multi-lane roads means longer distance trips using the two-lane roads that are designed primarily to provide local access, and significant wear-and-tear from heavy trucks.  Travel demand will only increase and expand to the south, as the population is expected to grow 175% in the study area by 2040.   Traffic at intermodal centers is projected to increase to more than 45,000 trucks per day.

The Corridor would extend from I-55 in Illinois on the west to I-65 in Indiana on the east.  The preferred corridor (B3) is located in Will County in Illinois and Lake County in Indiana.   The proposed highway will reduce the strain of truck traffic on local roads, thereby improving safety, travel times and accessibility to jobs.  Potential economic benefits include the creation and retention of more than 9,000 construction jobs and more than 25,000 long-term jobs.

The Corridor's plan for sustainability and contextual design reflects both states' desire to incorporate environmental design practices and to implement Context Sensitive Solutions in the planning of the Corridor.   Key components may include restoration of the plant ecosystem, wildlife corridors, stabilization of earthwork, and use of the natural environment to create a visually enhanced view.

Map of Selected Corridor

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