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Indiana, Illinois sign deal to build Illiana toll road

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Indiana and Illinois have signed an agreement to build the 47-mile-long Illiana Expressway toll road.

The 33-page document posted online Tuesday specifies that Indiana will spend $80 million to $110 million and Illinois will pay a minimum of $250 million.

The overall cost of the highway between Interstate 65 near Lowell in northwest Indiana and Interstate 55 south of Chicago is expected to be $1.3 billion, with investors expected to pay the remaining costs.

The agreement states the road will be reserved for vehicles using electronic toll devices with no option for paying cash.

Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said the partnership will create jobs, promote economic development and improve mobility throughout the region. Critics contend it will have minimal impact on economic development and will hurt the environment.

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