The state’s transportation chief lays out what is—and isn’t—included in his vision for the future of transportation in Illinois.
In the shorter term, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn favors implementing high-occupancy toll lanes in parts of Illinois, meaning you can be charged less in tolls for having more passengers in your car.
“You use that capacity and you not only are able to manage it by saying how many people need to be in a car, but you’re able to manage it by the price that you charge,” Blankenhorn said.
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What isn’t included, at least for now, is the proposed Illiana tollway connecting I-57 and I-55 with I-65 in Indiana. Even though Blankenhorn had been against the project when he was executive director at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, he’s willing to reconsider it in his new role.
“What I think about Illiana doesn’t matter, and what happened five years ago doesn’t matter, we’ve got to figure out if it’s the best use of public investment and private leverage for the state of Illinois,” Blankenhorn said. He says the project isn’t officially dead, just suspended.