First proposed by Chicago great planner Daniel Burnham a century ago, efforts to make the Illiana Tollway a reality got a major boost. A Northwest Indiana planning board voted overwhelmingly to move forward on the Illiana. The 47-mile road will be an east-west route, connecting I-55 in Will County to I-65 in Lake County, Indiana.
Opponents say the highway will divert money from struggling cities in Northwest Indiana.
But the mayor of Gary, Indiana, Karen Freeman Wilson, doesn’t believe that.
KFW: I think it’s beneficial to all of NWI because that creates additional economic development opportunities for the region and in so doing the citizens of Gary have the opportunity to benefit from that.
Indiana and Illinois will share the cost in building the tollway but is expected to be offset with private funds. Chicago planners voted last October in favor of funding its portion of the Illiana.