Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining a partnership on a new expressway linking the two states.
Both states’ legislatures have passed bills advancing the project. The Illinois General Assembly this spring passed the Illiana Expressway Act and Indiana’s Legislature passed SB 382. Both measures allow public-private partnerships between the states and private financing to build and operate the road.
The proposed highway would connect Interstate 55 in Will County, Ill., to Interstate 65 in Lake County, Ind.
“We’re in the middle of the biggest road-building boom in Indiana history and the Illiana project is its next natural extension,” Daniels said in a statement. “Safer roads, less congestion and countless new jobs make this a huge step forward for the entire region.”
The states will next begin several environmental studies, which should take up to three years to complete. At the same time state officials will “begin to explore marketplace interest in creative financing for the project that the two bills make possible,” Daniels said.