U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has signed off on a final agreement that will allow the State of Illinois -- after decades of preparation -- to finally begin construction on the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access roadway.
"Secretary LaHood called me this evening with good news -- the Department of Transportation has given its approval to an agreement that will allow the State of Illinois to begin construction on the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project," said Durbin. "This project, combined with the surrounding development and other infrastructure projects, stands to create as many as 65,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2040. Increased connectivity with other modes of transportation and dramatic reductions in congestion and delays will save drivers $145 million annually in time and fuel costs. It's exactly the type of nationally significant project we need to ensure that Illinois remains the transportation hub of the Midwest."
"The beginning of the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access Project is a tremendous victory for the 8th Congressional District," said Duckworth. "As I discussed with Secretary LaHood, this project will cut the commuting time of my constituents and give our businesses the opportunity to move their products more efficiently throughout Illinois and across the country. By investing in this project we are sending a message to job creators throughout the region that the 8th Congressional District of Illinois is a place to bring their business. I look forward to getting to work making sure that the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project has the funds and supervision to succeed so that it can begin serving my constituents."
The $3.4 billion Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project will extend the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway to O'Hare and build a new Western Bypass around the airport. The project also includes improvements to I-290, I-355 and I-90, including upgrades to existing interchanges and new interchanges. An official agreement to formalize the transfer of a federal roadway to a tolling authority has been awaiting approval by the DOT's Federal Highway Administration after receiving a Record of Decision (ROD) from the federal government and receiving approval from all other parties including: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the Tollway Board of Directors, the Illinois Department of Transportation, key municipalities and the Illinois General Assembly.
The Elgin-O'Hare Western Access has been designated by the DOT as a "Project of Regional and National Significance" "Project of National and Regional Significance" by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The project received $140 million in the 2005 federal transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU.