DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (CBS) — The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is proposing to raise tolls in order to pay for an ambitious $12 billion, 12-year construction program.
The toll hikes would range from 35 to 90 cents for IPass users starting next year, depending on the toll plaza. Cash users would continue to pay double the IPass rate at each toll plaza.READ MORE: 'We're Not Asking, We're Demanding:' Advocates Advance Call For Civilian Oversight Group Over Police, COPA, Police Board, And Other Bodies
The agency will hold public hearings on the project and the proposed toll hike next month.
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Tollway Executive Director Kristi LaFleur said 75 percent of users now pay the same amount they did in 1983.
“No one likes it when tolls go up and tollway users will feel the impact, but users will also get back better roads, less congestion and lower fuel costs,” she said.
Board Chairman Paula Wolff said that the projects could be scaled back if the public strongly opposes raising tolls.READ MORE: Federal Prosecutors Claim Ald. Ed Burke Made Anti-Semitic Remark, Offer New Details About His Alleged Corruption And Former Ald. Solis' Cooperation
Proposed projects include reconstruction of the Jane Addams Tollway, building an interchange where I-294 and I-57 cross, but do not connect, and building an Elgin-O’Hare West bypass.
Tollway users at the Des Plaines Oasis were unanimous in their disapproval of the planned fare hikes.
Pat Timm, who says she drives the system three days a week pointed to the state of the economy. “It seems like we’re being nickeled and dimed every which way now.”
“It’s terrible,” driver Bob Sullivan said.
In a written statement, Gov. Pat Quinn promised to review the proposal carefully to make sure residents are being asked to pay “only what is absolutely necessary.”MORE NEWS: Matteson, Tinley Park Now Have Walk-In COVID Vaccine Sites, Open Through Saturday
But two weeks ago, speaking only of the Jane Addams tollway project, he said, “If we’re going to going to relieve congestion and create jobs, we don’t have a magic wand with a pot of gold from somewhere else.”