Illinois is putting on a full court press to sell the idea of the Illiana Expressway to join I-55 in Illinois with I-65 in Indiana to the east.

State Transportation Secretary Anne Schneider hosted reporters for a series of individual interviews to outline the State’s reasons for the tollway, which she said is spurred by developments in over the road freight traffic.

“More and more of that is occurring in Memphis Tennessee, more is occurring in Ohio around Columbus and by creating this freight corridor I think we make ourselves regionally more competitive,” said Schneider.

Schneider asserts the Illiana expressway will spur development of thousands of jobs. Opponents argue it’s unnecessary, environmentally disruptive, and will be a long term financial burden on Illinois taxpayers.

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