Senate Bill 0382, which authorizes the State to undertake the development of the Illiana Expressway, passed out of the House Roads and Transportation Committee on a 10-2 vote. The Committee added amendments which may help overcome the Bill’s failure to pass the House in a previous form. The Bill allows the State to enter into a public private partnership to build a new toll road between I-65 and either I-57 or I-55 in Illinois.
The project will likely cost in excess of $1 billion and will be funded privately through a public private partnership between the State and the operator. However, ownership of the property itself will remain in the name of the State of Indiana. Various public hearings, economic impact and environmental impact studies must still be conducted, however, if the Bill passes the House, it will almost certainly result in the eventual construction of the new toll road.
The Bill is scheduled for a second reading in front of the full House on February 23. This follows years of negotiations and gamesmanship between legislators, local governments, and the Governor over the Illiana Expressway. A decision, for this round at least, appears to be coming soon.