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Congresswoman Kelly Reaffirms Unwavering Support for Illiana Expressway

Joint Letter Urges MPO to Include Illiana Expressway in GO TO 2040 Plan

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 16, 2013. Congresswoman Robin Kelly today reaffirmed her strong support for the Illiana Expressway, despite a recent decision by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to not include the project in its long-range transportation plan.

“The Illiana Expressway project has strong bi-state support, including deep support from political, labor and business leaders from South Cook, Will and Kankakee counties,” Kelly said. “We stand united. It’s not often that a group as diverse as this stands together. It’s important to show our solidarity to everyone before the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) takes its crucial vote on Oct. 17.”

Kelly said, “Will County is one of the fastest growing regions in Illinois and the Midwest, and that growth has been spurred, in part, by a booming intermodal industry. Will County is home to some of the largest–and fastest growing—distributions centers in the nation–including those for Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, Home Depot, and Certified Grocers. Given its unique proximity to all the nation’s major railroads, and its abundance of open space, Will County’s intermodal industry will continue to grow as global businesses continue to invest and expand in the region–creating more jobs for Illinois residents. 

“The Illiana targets Will County’s intermodal and logistics industries by providing a second major east-west corridor through Chicago’s Southland,” she said. “It will relieve congestion on overburdened county and secondary roads in Will County, and along I-80, one of nation’s busiest highways. And someday it will serve as an access route for downstaters coming to the new South Suburban airport. I have no doubt that the Illiana will strengthen the Illinois economy for the next generation.”

Kelly emphasized that the Illiana will be financed primarily by private developers—not tax dollars.

“The Southland has always been a team player when other regions wanted new roads. For decades, new expressways and tollroads were built crisscrossing the north, northwest and west suburbs–mostly paid for with tax dollars. We’re willing to find our own financing for the Illiana. Now it’s time for the team to show support for this crucial Southland project. It’s finally our time to get new infrastructure.”

In a joint letter, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-2), Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) today urged the members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to include the Illiana Expressway in the GO TO 2040 plan.

In the letter, the Representatives urge members to support the inclusion of the Illiana, saying:

    • The Chicago Metropolitan Area as a whole benefits economically from its geographic location and existing transportation infrastructure. The Illiana Expressway is a necessary investment to enhance this benefit and to provide relief to the communities that currently bear the brunt of freight traffic in the region. 

The letter is available here.

Source: robinkelly.house.gov



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