Toll Increase Could Fund $12 Billion Capital Plan

Ilinois Tollway proposal would mean 35-cent increase for I-Pass users.

Motorists will have to pay more to drive on the state's tollway system if the Illinois Tollway gets its way.

To pay for a proposed $12 billion, 15-year capital plan, tolls would increase 35 cents for I-Pass users at a typical mainline toll plaza, with cash-paying passenger vehicles continuing to pay double the I-Pass rate, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The hike would be the first toll increase in 28 years, the report says.

The plan, according to an Illinois Tollway release, includes reconstructing the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) to link Rockford to O’Hare Airport, a new interchange to connect Interstate 294 to Interstate 57 and a new all-electronic Elgin O’Hare West Bypass that can provide western access the airport.

Also included in the plan is funding for planning studies needed for the extension of Illinois Route 53 and the Illiana Expressway.

Preservation of the Veterans Memorial Tollway (Interstate 355) is also included in the proposal.

More from the report

Officials said the proposed increase -- typically from 40 cents to 75 cents -- would bring the cost of a car trip on the tollway system for an average I-Pass customer to $1.18. That's up from today’s average of 63 cents per trip and an increase of $2.75 a week, or $11 a month. 

Officials said the tollway would still rank 29th among the 41 toll road agencies in the United States in terms of price -– in the bottom third with an average of 6 cents per mile.

Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar said the Elgin O’Hare West Bypass would be a plus for Bolingbrook residents and all in southwest and west suburbs.

"When completed, to go to and from O'Hare using the 'back door' that has been proposed for many years ... it will be good to see it get done," he said. 

Perhaps more important, Claar said, is the jobs that will benefit all. 

The proposed capital plan will create more than 120,000 permanent jobs and add $21 billion to the economy, the release said.

Gov. Pat Quinn, according to a Chicago Tribune report, has yet to take a position on the toll hike.

“[The governor] plans to review the tollway proposal carefully over the next month to make sure that it is asking of residents only what is absolutely necessary,” Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said in a statement.

“The tollway also must get the public’s input - with 12 public hearings over the next month.  Input from the drivers who use the tollway every day is critical to this process.”

More information will be presented during public hearings throughout August. Tollway customers are invited to attend and provide feedback on the plan, but hearings will also be streamed online at www.illinoistollway.com.

Public hearings will be held Aug. 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the following counties:

  • COOK: Chicago Ridge City Hall, 10455 S. Ridgeland Ave. in Chicago Ridge
  • DuPAGE: DuPage County Government Center, 421 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton
  • KANE: Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave. (Building A) in Geneva
  • WILL: Village of New Lenox, 1 Veterans Parkway in New Lenox
martin finn August 01, 2011 at 05:55 PM
rebuilding infrastructure, where needed, is appropriate, hopefully done by laborers with practical work rules, who work for firms that win the job by competitive bidding, regardless of whether the firms are union associated or not. Also, let us prioritize better, just in last 5 days I have heard of 5 million dollars of fed spending to be used on a "fruit /veggie program " for illinois schools and some study of homelessness. Multiply this by 50 states and that by 50 programs and you have real money.
Jay August 01, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Marie, You must be a Democratic Politician or work for a Union; because those are the only two groups of people who will benefit from higher tolls and higher taxes - the rest of us will pay, and when we have less money left over to buy other goods and services, others will lose their jobs, more and more people will continue to move out of the state (and more businesses) and Illinois will continue down the path to bankruptcy. When the tax revenue from video poker, taxes on alcohol and candy doesn't even come close to paying off the bonds for this big boondoggle, it will again be the taxpayer that is asked to chip in a little more. Guess what, the gig is up....all across the country states are getting their fiscal house in order. The Democrat idiots running Illinois are choosing not to do so, at their (and our) peril.
Jay August 01, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Here is some spending in the Capital bill..... United Neighborhood Organization is getting $98 Million. Sounds like a nice organization. I decided to google them. Their home page is http://www.uno-online.org/. It states that it is “Modeled after the Saul Alinsky style of community organizing.” If you don’t know who Saul Alinsky is, google “Saul Alinsky Marxist”. The CEO of UNO is a gentleman by the name of Juan Rangel. He also happens to be one of Rahm Emanuel’s campaign co-chairman.
Jay August 01, 2011 at 07:06 PM
The Urban Weatherization Act gets $500 Million. Their home page is http://www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo/Bureaus/Community_Development/Urban+Assistance/Urban+Weatherization+Initiative.htm. Chicago State University is getting $40 Million that it didn’t know about, or even ask for. CSU was recently plagued with accounting scandals and has a 16% graduation rate. A private golf course community is getting $50,000. In my district, we are getting a $1 Million walking bridge. The church in which my children were baptized is receiving $250,000 for a new roof. In fact, several religious institutions are receiving state money for infrastructure improvements. I find it ironic that so many religious institutions would be taking money coming from gambling addicts.
Jay August 01, 2011 at 07:07 PM
People, very simply put.....this is nothing more than 'buying votes' and the number one reason the Democrats continue to hold power in Illinois, because there are more people asking for a 'hand out' than there are asked to 'pay' for it all.


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