The Illiana Expressway remains on-hold. Governor Bruce Rauner stopped all capital projects until he can all costs and expenses reviewed. But leaders in Kankakee County are showing continued support for the project that'll link I-55 in Will County with I-65 in NW Indiana.
Five Kankakee County officials signed a letter drawn up by U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly urging Rauner to fund several infrastructure projects, described as regional "game-changing projects" in the 2nd Congressional District represented by Kelly. The district includes Kankakee and Will counties.
Signing off on the letter are Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein, Bourbonnais Mayor Paul Schore, Bradley mayor Bruce Adams, Manteno Mayor Tim Nugent, and County Board Chairman Mike Bossert.
Kelly's project list includes the Illiana Expressway and South Suburban Airport.
Kelly's letter was signed by 35 southland mayors, state representatives, state senators and county board members. Both Democrats and Republicans signed Kelly's letter.
State Sen. Toi Hutchinson also signed off in support of the projects.
Kelly's letter states, "Most congressional districts (and most states, for that matter) would be envious of our plans to build a new airport, national park, presidential library, toll road, and a 500-acre lakefront development (the old USX site)." "Remarkably, all five game-changing projects could break ground in the next four years."
The 47-mile Illiana by itself has a $1.5-billion price tag. Much of its cost is projected to be covered by private developers.