President's Corner

January 2018 Building Opportunities for the Next Generation

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Illiana Expressway Approved in Final Planning Committee Vote

​Today, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission voted to add the Illiana Expressway to its long-term plan as a fiscally-constrained project. This decision enables the Illiana to request federal funding in Indiana, following a similar approval in Illinois in October.The NIRPC board held a weighted vote, where each representative’s vote carried weight corresponding with the population of the municipality he/she represented. The outcome was approximately 75 percent in favor to twenty percent against, with the remainder either absent or abstaining.

Had the project been denied from the long-term plan, it would have had no realistic path forward, so today’s vote is a big win for supporters of the Illiana. Both states can now begin accepting bids from private investors interested in building and operating the road as a toll road. Construction could begin as soon as 2015.
Local 150 president-business manager James M. Sweeney was pleased by the vote.
“This road is desperately needed, and I am thankful that so many members of the planning commissions recognized the need,” Sweeney said. “This will create construction jobs, spur new development, and bolster the freight and manufacturing industries that are among the few job creators in these states.”
“Local 150 members have been watching and hoping that this day would come for several years now. We have gone to the open houses and the public hearings in support from the beginning. A lot of people said this day would never come, but it is due to our perseverance that we are now only a couple of years away from driving down the Illiana Expressway.”


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