DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois Tollway officials expect complaints at a series of public hearing this month on a plan to double tolls for a $12 billion capital construction plan.
As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, Illinois Tollway officials hope to convince drivers that nearly doubling tolls will be worth it. But they are expecting a lot of grousing and complaining at a series of public hearings this month.READ MORE: Police Investigate Suspicious Package At Bryn Mawr Red Line Station
The capital plan is intended 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.
Under the plans, tolls would nearly double for I-Pass users, and go up for all tollway drivers in the 15-year plan approved by the Toll Highway Authority board.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Illinois: 1,729 New COVID-19 Cases, 22 Additional Deaths
But some have complained the size of the toll hike was a complete surprise. Toll Highway Authority chair Paula Wolff doesn’t deny it.
“That’s a fair comment,” she said on WBBM Newsradio’s “At Issue” program. “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.”MORE NEWS: Indiana Reports 1,056 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 Additional Deaths
But Toll Highway officials say the higher tolls are needed to maintain the system and move it forward.