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A look at ‘major milestones’ in 2nd year of Illinois Tollway’s capital upgrade program

Traffic last fall makes its way inout work zone for $2.2 billiJane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding Widening Project from

Traffic last fall makes its way into and out of the the work zone for the $2.2 billion Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project from Elgin to Rockford. | Sun-Times Media file

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Updated: January 27, 2014 11:48AM

The Illinois Tollway had some major projects worked on or completed in 2013, including some in the Elgin and Hampshire area.

A release from the Tollway noted what it called “major milestones accomplished in the second year of the 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.”

The ongoing Move Illinois is the largest capital program in the agency’s history. It has invested in projects to repair and rebuild roadways, bridges and interchanges and other capital investments across the Tollway’s 286-mile system, the release said.

“ Move Illinois will provide customers with a fully rebuilt, state-of-the-art system and critical new regional projects that will improve mobility, relieve congestion, reduce pollution, create as many as 120,000 jobs and link economies across the Midwest,” it said.

Among the local projects and programs noted in the Tollway release were:

In October, Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Tollway broke ground on the $3.4 billion Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project, which will build 17 miles of new toll roads, construct or improve 15 interchanges and provide western access to O’Hare International Airport. The project will create up to 65,000 jobs while accommodating 120,000 vehicles daily, reducing congestion and improving travel efficiency.

In November, the Tollway delivered the first segment of the $2.2 billion Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project, completing 37 miles of eastbound lanes between Rockford and the Elgin.

“When completed, from I-39 to the Kennedy Expressway, I-90 will be a 21st Century, state-of-the-art corridor that will accommodate as many as 30,000 additional vehicles daily and save motorists an estimated $440 million annually in reduced congestion and delays,” the Tollway said.

In November, the Illinois Tollway completed construction of the full-access, $59 million interchange at Illinois Route 47 and I-90 in Huntley. The all-electronic interchange is the first Move Illinois project to be completed. Funded in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the village of Huntley and Kane and McHenry counties, the project created an estimated 390 jobs and was completed in only 17 months, the release said.

It also was the Tollway’s first “green” interchange, including green construction initiatives such as a geothermal water piping system, reflective roofs, trellised vegetation, as well as ramp shoulder pavement that allows water to seep through, reducing stormwater runoff, according to the release.

In August, the Tollway began posting on its website a list of scofflaws who owe more than $1,000 in unpaid tolls. The list, which included several businesses that owed more than $100,000, is being updated quarterly as part of the Tollways zero-tolerance policy against scofflaws.

In March, the Tollway entered in an agreement with the city of Elgin and the Kane County Forest Preserve District to help purchase and protect a 53-acre nature preserve site in Elgin located at Route 25 just north of I-90. The Tollway agreed to contribute $2.6 million to help fund Elgin’s purchase of the property and work by the Kane County Forest Preserve District to restore and maintain the high-quality forested fen.

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