Tollway willing to step in to fund I-80 upgrades, chairman tells Joliet City Council
By BOB OKON
Oct. 15, 2018
The chairman of the state tollway board laid out a case to the Joliet City Council on Monday for turning the local stretch of Interstate 80 into a toll road.
“We at the tollway are ready to help,” Chairman Bob Schillerstrom told the council.
Schillerstrom was asked to make a presentation on the Illinois Tollway’s capacity to fund I-80 improvements.
He said turning the local stretch of road could speed up the pace of a $1 billion plan that the Illinois Department of Transportation now has for I-80 from New Lenox to Minooka.
“IDOT has said they may not have funds to work on 80 for 20 years,” Schillerstrom said. “The tollway’s here to help. We look to partner. We look to work with others.”
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said he invited Schillerstrom to the council meeting after hearing him make a similar presentation to a new I-80 Coalition of government and business leaders that was created to push for progress on the planned improvements.
O’Dekirk said he gets “a real mixed reaction” when he speaks to Joliet gatherings about the possibility of turning the local section of I-80 into a tollway.
I-80 Project News
The push to improve Interstate 80 got a boost Friday when Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a state capital plan that includes $1 billion for Interstate 80.
A proposal shown to lawmakers includes major new spending on roads, transit, schools and more, but would require a doubling of the gas tax and new levies on items like vehicle registration, liquor, cable TV and ride-hailing.
Overnight Lane Closures For Safety Upgrades On I-80 By Monica DeSantis | Apr 25, 2019 The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that overnight lane closures are scheduled starting May 1 on Interstate 80 in Joliet for the installation of shoulder...
State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Elwood, has introduced legislation aimed at converting the local stretch of Interstate 80 into a tollway.
A coalition created to push for improvements to Interstate 80 will point to $623 billion of freight coming through Will County a year, making a case the local corridor has national importance.
A new grass-roots effort, known as the I-80 Coalition, has been launched by the Will County Center for Economic Development to hasten needed improvements to I-80.
A new I-80 Coalition is being formed to speed up long-term plans to improve the interstate.