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Residents invited to Illiana meeting in Wilmington

Traffic thoften backs up Interstate 80 would be reduced after IllianExpressway is built proposed proposed tollway say.  |

Traffic that often backs up on Interstate 80 would be reduced after the Illiana Expressway is built, proposed of the proposed tollway say. | File photo

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Updated: July 10, 2014 2:41PM



An informational meeting about the proposed Illiana tollway, which is expected to impact much of eastern Will County, is slated for 5 to 7 p.m. July 16 at city hall in Wilmington, according to a press release about the meeting.

The proposed 47-mile tollway would link Interstate 65 in Indiana with I-55 near Wilmington.

Will County Board member Ragan Freitag, R-Wilmington, recently announced the meeting. The county’s ombudsman will attend the meeting, provide an update and answer residents’ questions, according to the release.

State Rep. John Anthony, R-Morris, also will participate, the release said.

“Residents have many questions about the proposed $1.3 billion Illiana project that will cut across Will County and impact property owners in its path,” Freitag said in the release. “Elected officials at both the local and state level should provide opportunities and forums for their residents’ questions to get answered and their voices to be heard.”

The Illiana first was conceived by famed architect Daniel Burnham more than a century ago, the release said.

Congestion on highways in Will County such as I-80, I-55, I-80/94 and I-57 and increased truck traffic wearing down local roadways has led officials to seek alternatives such as the Illiana, it said. Specifically, I-80 has been cited as the choke point of the nation, impeding the transport of goods from shore to shore, it said.

Last August, Will County appointed Michael Hansen to serve as ombudsman for the project and to represent the interests of property owners affected by the proposed Illiana in dealings with the Illinois Department of Transportation, according to the release. The ombudsman’s job is to facilitate clear communication between the state and local residents, it said.

Those landowners in the Illiana’s path who are unable to attend the July 16 meeting can contact Hansen at (815) 744-9500 or by emailing mikehansen@mikehansenlaw.com.

Staff report



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