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Tollway Board Member: Scale Back Proposed Toll Hike

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Tollway

Illinois Tollway (Credit: CBS)

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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (CBS) — A proposed toll hike might turn out to be much lower than originally thought.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, earlier this month, Illinois Toll Highway Authority officials announced plans to double tolls to fund improvements on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).

There are also plans to extend the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, which as of now reaches neither Elgin nor O’Hare, and that project will turn the expressway into a tollway.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But Tollway Board Member Bill Morris says the authority should scale back its proposed 35 percent hike to 15 cents, the Chicago Tribune reported.

He pointed out that the tollway has a balanced budget, and enough projected cash flow in its current rate structure to complete the authority’s “prime mission,” which is maintaining the existing system, the newspaper reported.

Morris also said the communities along the routes in need of upgrades should contribute tax funds to the projects, the Tribune reported. He released a 16-page analysis of the $12 billion capital program for the Tollway, the newspaper reported.

Tollway officials anticipated negative reaction to the toll hike proposal from the beginning. They called it a “complete suprirse.”

“That’s a fair comment,” Toll Highway Authority chair Paula Wolff said on WBBM Newsradio’s “At Issue” program earlier this month. “I don’t think that we did have a full discussion of the amount of the increase. That’s what the purpose of the public hearings actually is.”

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