PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) - A northwest Indiana planning board has voted in favor of a proposed Illiana Expressway that would connect Interstate 65 near Lowell with Interstate 55 south of Chicago.
The Times of Munster reports the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission voted Thursday in favor of the 47-mile-long tollway. That move clears the way for the proposal to be submitted for final federal approvals. The plan previously had been approved by a similar Illinois board.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn both support the project, saying it would promote economic development. Critics maintain the $1.3 billion road would have minimal impact on economic development and is too costly.
Officials say if the project gets the needed federal approvals, work could begin as early as 2015.