Frequently Asked Questions

What is this request about?

INDOT has proposed amendments to add the Illiana Expressway and the expansion of I-65 to NIRPC’s 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (2040 CRP) and the 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). As part of this process, a new Air Quality Conformity Analysis including these projects has been performed. All of these documents will be voted on in December.

 

Where is the Illiana Study area?

The study area is located in southern Will County and northern Kankakee County in Illinois and southern Lake County in Indiana.  The area is generally located between I-65 on the east, I-55 on the west and bordered by US 30 to the north and northern Kankakee County to the south. In Indiana, the corridor goes between Lowell and Cedar Lake.

 

What is the proposed length of the Illiana Expressway?

The proposed length of the Illiana Expressway is 47 miles: 12 miles in Indiana and 35 in Illinois.

 

When can the project be constructed?

Phase I (Tier One and Tier Two EISs) may take up to four years to complete and Phase II (Final Design and Construction Plans) typically takes approximately two years. However, at this time only Phase I is funded.

 

What is the current projected total cost of the Illiana? How much will the Indiana portion be?

The current projected cost for both the Illinois and Indiana sections is $1.5 billion. The Indiana portion is projected to cost $300 million.

 

How will the Illiana be funded?

Only Phase I of the Illiana (the Tier One and Tier Two Environmental Impact Statements) are currently funded. Funding for Phase II still needs to be identified, with one option, a public-private partnership (P3), being explored in detail. A P3 partnership would allow for private funds to be used to construct the project.

 

What does NIRPC have to do regarding the Illiana?

INDOT has requested that NIRPC add the Illiana Expressway to the long-range regional transportation plan portion of the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (2040 CRP) and its 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). An updated Air Quality Conformity Analysis which includes the Illiana must also be approved. Approval by the NIRPC Commission would add the project to these documents. The Transportation Policy Committee will also vote on a recommendation to the Commission.

 

Who votes at NIRPC?

The Transportation Policy Committee consists of transportation stakeholders, transit operators, and transportation advocates from around the region. The NIRPC Full Commission consists of elected officials from all three counties, all 41 municipalities, and two townships. There is also a governor’s appointee. At the Full Commission, voting is normally one vote by each of the 53 Commissioners. A Commissioner may call for a weighted vote, in which case voting is weighted by proportional population.

 

When will NIRPC be voting?

The Transportation Policy Committee will vote on December 3. The NIRPC Full Commission will vote on December 12.

 

What is the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (2040 CRP)?

The 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (2040 CRP) is the first plan with a comprehensive vision
for sustainable growth and revitalization of Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. As a Metropolitan Planning Organization, NIRPC is responsible for the development of a long-range regional transportation plan. In the 2040 CRP, NIRPC planned for not only transportation but its integration with environment, economic development, and land use. The CRP places NIRPC in an enhanced role in the region with respect to planning and implementation, and encourages NIRPC to assist local governments and regional stakeholders to integrate transportation, land use, human and economic resources, and environmental policy objectives.

 

What is the 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)?

The 2014-2017 TIP is NIRPC’s short-term project list. The projects included in the TIP are meant to implement the long-range regional transportation plan. The TIP includes both local and state highway and transit projects.

 

What is the Air Quality Conformity Analysis?

The Air Quality Conformity Analysis demonstrates the performance of the highway network with the tailpipe emissions standards in the State Implementation Plan for Air Quality (SIP) in Air Quality Non-Attainment Areas. NIRPC’s board must determine that the projected emissions will not exceed the numerical standards in the SIP for the test years. The US Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Highway Administration must confirm this determination.

 

Where can I find more information from INDOT & IDOT on the Illiana Corridor?

www.illianacorridor.org

 

Where can I find more information from NIRPC on the Illiana Corridor?

www.nirpc.org/illiana-expressway-project