Motorists will have to pay more to drive on the state's tollway system if the Illinois Tollway gets its way.
To pay for a proposed $12 billion, 15-year capital plan, tolls would increase 35 cents for I-Pass users at a typical mainline toll plaza, with cash-paying passenger vehicles continuing to pay double the I-Pass rate, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
The hike would be the first toll increase in 28 years, the report says.
The plan, according to an Illinois Tollway release, includes reconstructing the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) to link Rockford to O’Hare Airport, a new interchange to connect Interstate 294 to Interstate 57 and a new all-electronic Elgin O’Hare West Bypass that can provide western access the airport.
Also included in the plan is funding for planning studies needed for the extension of Illinois Route 53 and the Illiana Expressway.
Preservation of the Veterans Memorial Tollway (Interstate 355) is also included in the proposal.
More from the report:
Officials said the proposed increase -- typically from 40 cents to 75 cents -- would bring the cost of a car trip on the tollway system for an average I-Pass customer to $1.18. That's up from today’s average of 63 cents per trip and an increase of $2.75 a week, or $11 a month.
Officials said the tollway would still rank 29th among the 41 toll road agencies in the United States in terms of price -– in the bottom third with an average of 6 cents per mile.
Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar said the Elgin O’Hare West Bypass would be a plus for Bolingbrook residents and all in southwest and west suburbs.
"When completed, to go to and from O'Hare using the 'back door' that has been proposed for many years ... it will be good to see it get done," he said.
Perhaps more important, Claar said, is the jobs that will benefit all.
The proposed capital plan will create more than 120,000 permanent jobs and add $21 billion to the economy, the release said.
Gov. Pat Quinn, according to a Chicago Tribune report, has yet to take a position on the toll hike.
“[The governor] plans to review the tollway proposal carefully over the next month to make sure that it is asking of residents only what is absolutely necessary,” Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said in a statement.
“The tollway also must get the public’s input - with 12 public hearings over the next month. Input from the drivers who use the tollway every day is critical to this process.”
More information will be presented during public hearings throughout August. Tollway customers are invited to attend and provide feedback on the plan, but hearings will also be streamed online at www.illinoistollway.com.
Public hearings will be held Aug. 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the following counties:
- COOK: Chicago Ridge City Hall, 10455 S. Ridgeland Ave. in Chicago Ridge
- DuPAGE: DuPage County Government Center, 421 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton
- KANE: Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave. (Building A) in Geneva
- WILL: Village of New Lenox, 1 Veterans Parkway in New Lenox