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Groups interested in Indiana part of Illiana road; Investors, engineering firms, contractors to be reviewed by state

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
NW Ind. commission OKs proposed Illiana Expy.

Approval is given to build the proposed Illiana Expressway as a northwest Indiana planning board voted Thursday in favor of building the 47-mile long stretch of tollway connecting I-55 south of Chicago to I-65 near Lowell, Indiana.

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Six groups that include investors, engineering firms and contractors have shown interest in designing, building and financing the Indiana portion of the Illiana Expressway.

The highway would connect Interstate 65 near Lowell with Interstate 55 south of Chicago.

Indiana Public Finance Director Kendra York says the state will review the teams' qualifications and announce a short list of finalists that will be invited to submit final proposals. The Illinois Department of Transportation announced last month that it would review the qualifications of five teams.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn both support the project, saying it would promote economic development. Critics maintain the $1.3 billion road will have minimal impact on economic development and is too costly.

The highway still needs federal approval.

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