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CHICAGO (CBS) — Support seems to be growing for a new tollway near O’Hare International Airport.
As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, an advisory panel says the project would add 65,000 jobs, boost tax revenues, and relieve traffic congestion near the airport.
But it could also double tolls for drivers.
Currently, the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass, also known as the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, goes neither to Elgin nor O’Hare. It only links the suburbs of Hanover Park and Itasca.
But Gov. Pat Quinn has called for completion of the next phase of the expressway project, the Chicago Tribune reported.
On Thursday, the state Toll Highway Authority Board is set to meet and discuss whether to go ahead with the $3.6 billion project, the Tribune reported.
But even when the next phase is done, the expressway still won’t go into the west end of the airport, as was the original plan.
Some also question whether creating a new tollway and forcing traffic onto side streets is a good idea. The tolls on the expressway could be so high that motorists might be inclined to avoid it, the Tribune reported.
The 12.5-mile Elgin-O’Hare Expressway was constructed in 1993 at a cost of $220 million, linking U.S. 20, or Lake Street, in Hanover Park with Interstate 290 in Itasca, the Tribune reported.
But it was never completed, in large part because the City of Chicago and the suburbs could never agree on where the expressway should enter O’Hare, the newspaper reported.