Planned toll lanes on Stevenson get federal approval

By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) The concept of paid toll lanes on the Stevenson Expressway might be happening, after all. That project received federal environmental approval this month.

The plan would be to add a tolled express lane in the current median between the Veterans Tollway (I-355) and the Dan Ryan Expressway. More than 170,000 cars and trucks pass through that stretch of road each day, according to IDOT. That makes it one of the busiest and most important passenger and freight corridors in Illinois.

IDOT hopes to recruit private developers to help curb the $425 million cost of the project. Those private partners would have a say in the design, build, operations, and management of the toll lanes.

Construction could start as early as 2017, and the lanes could be open to traffic by 2019.