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Gov. Pat Quinn signs Illiana Expy. bill allowing quick-take power

Updated: July 13, 2012 6:14PM

SPRINGFIELD — The first step in building a new expressway to link Interstate 55 in Will County with Interstate 65 in northwest Indiana got the go-ahead Friday from Gov. Pat Quinn.

The governor signed legislation authorizing the Illinois Department of Transportation to use quick-take power to acquire land necessary for the proposed Illiana Expressway, which is seen as a vital economic driver in the far south and southwest suburbs.

“The governor’s committed to economic development in that region and creating jobs in Illinois, and that bill is all about creating jobs, jobs, jobs,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said. “It’ll certainly be good for that region.”

Illinois is conducting an environmental study to chart a route and intends to have a 2,000-foot corridor selected by late summer or early fall, said Guy Tridgell, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Backers of the project, whose total cost hasn’t been tabulated, hope to have final federal approval sometime in 2013, he said.

“At this point, no funding source has been identified, but a public-private partnership will be strongly considered,” Tridgell said.

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