CHICAGO (STMW) – The Illinois Tollway on Wednesday presented a tentative 2012 budget to its board, providing funding for the construction of the new interchange at the Tri-State Tollway and Interstate 57 as well as several other construction plans.

About $241 million of the $607 million provided in capital projects will go towards the first year of the agency’s 15-year capita program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, a release from the Tollway said.

Those projects include construction of the new interchange at the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and I-57, construction of a new interchange at Illinois Route 47 on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and bridge and shoulder widening to prepare for the I-90 rebuilding and widening work scheduled to begin in 2013, the release said.

Also in 2012, capital projects will include roadway rehabilitation on the central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) from 95th Street to Balmoral Avenue, resurfacing on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) between Illinois Route 56 and Illinois Route 251 and completion of the Tri-Level Bridge project improving ramps connecting I-294 and I-90, the release said.

The tentative budget also provides $9.6 million for information technology system enhancements and $8.8 million for I-PASS transponder purchases and automatic coin collection machine repairs.

Revenues are projected to increase $293 million, from $680 million in 2011 to $973 million in 2012, mainly due to a toll rate increase for passenger vehicles approved by the Board last August and scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012. Those revenues will allow the Tollway to allocate $266 million for maintenance and operations, including increases of $5.3 million for credit card fees to accommodate increased revenue collection and $4.4 million for mandatory social security and employee retirement costs, the release said.

The Tollway is offering ways for the public to participate in the budget process by holding a public hearing on Nov. 15 in Downers Grove; an open house on Nov. 16 in South Holland and a webinar posted on the Tollways website.

After the board reviews the public comments and any changes are made, a final budget will be presented for approval by the Board of Directors at its Dec. 15 meeting.

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