CHICAGO - The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority board yesterday approved a $1.8 billion, bond-financed plan to build new interstate interchanges and add bus and ride-sharing commuter lanes - investments billed as the second phase of the $6.3 billion congestion-relief program now underway.

The interchanges will cost $1.4 billion and the commuter lanes - known as HOT lanes, for high-occupancy toll - carry a price tag of $400 million for their construction on the busiest stretches of the 286-mile toll system beginning in 2010.

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