Illinois Tollway Approves Key Agreement With City of Chicago As New I-490 Tollway Continues to Progress
Agreement includes land and design parameters necessary to protect airport and ensure access during construction.
The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors announced a key agreement with the City of Chicago necessary to construct the new I-490 Tollway – and complete the $3.4 billion Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project investment in the region’s transportation infrastructure. The agreement approved during the February Board meeting positions the Tollway to build and operate a completely new roadway in the shadow of one of the nation’s largest airports, guiding the design efforts and providing land access needed for completion.
“My administration is proud to mark yet another milestone in enhancing transportation in the Chicago metropolitan region, paving the way for additional access to O’Hare," said Governor JB Pritzker. “When complete, this project will enhance access for countless Illinoisans to not only one of the world’s busiest airports, but additional highways, transit centers, businesses and communities throughout the region. I thank our City of Chicago partners for working alongside the Illinois Tollway to see this project through.”
As a result of the recent, historic agreements with the Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific railroads that were necessary for the new I-490 Tollway to cross the Canadian Pacific Railway Bensenville Intermodal Yard, the final design required additional negotiations with the City of Chicago.
This agreement provides additional land, while defining a process by which the design of the southern portion of the new road will be managed and coordinated in complete cooperation with the Chicago Department of Aviation, which owns and operates O’Hare International Airport on behalf of the City of Chicago.
"The amended agreement with the Illinois Tollway, which I will introduce to City Council next week, provides a clear path forward toward the jobs, minority contracting opportunities, and improved airport access offered by the I-490 plan," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "I thank Commissioner Rhee and her staff for their stewardship in making these negotiations possible, as well as Executive Director Alvarez and the entire Tollway team for their continued partnership in the years ahead."
Currently, this portion of the new I-490 Tollway is still under design, and the agreement provides the Illinois Tollway with a clear framework for the land and construction parameters that are necessary to ensure the continuity of the critical transportation network that operates in the area. A final design is expected later this year, with additional details presented to the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Local Corridor Advisory Committee, as well as local and regional stakeholders, and the public at large this summer.
“The level of partnership required between the Tollway, City of Chicago, Chicago Department of Aviation and the railroads to achieve our mutual goals on this complex project cannot be understated,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “I’d like to thank Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Commissioner Rhee and her entire team, and reiterate our thanks to the railroad leadership, as well as local, state and federal stakeholders for their continued support.”
The agreement approved by the Tollway will be introduced to the Chicago City Council by Mayor Lightfoot and referred to the City Council Committee on Aviation for its review and consideration.