1340 WJOL Exclusive:
The first step towards turning Interstate 80 through Joliet into a toll road has been taken. Elwood State Representative Larry Walsh Jr. tells WJOL he has Introduced HJR50, which could start the process of converting I-80 into a toll road.
The State of Illinois is working on a 10-year $38 billion capital bill which will improve roads, bridges and vertical structures. An I-80 rebuild would cost approximately $1.5 billion and Rep. Walsh is concerned that the project may be too costly. He believes that converting the road into a toll road maybe the best for all parties involved.
The toll road would run from Rt. 47 in Morris and would continue all the way to I-294, which is already tolled. Traffic counts along that stretch of road range from 85,000 to 100,000 cars and trucks a day with a majority of users not even from Will County area.
Even if the state approves the transfer, it would then need to be approved by the Federal Government as the road is part of the Federal Highway System.