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Grant to Help Illinois Tollway Study Managed Lanes on I-90 Corridor
The Illinois Tollway was awarded federal funding to study the integration of transit with managed lanes on I-90, including the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. On September 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Tollway $528,840 to participate in a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) pilot program to manage congestion through tolling and other pricing mechanisms.
I-90 is one of the many roadways in northeastern Illinois struggling with congestion. This announcement, in addition to the recent approval of the Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion capital plan, supports the GO TO 2040 priority project recommendation for managed lanes on I-90 to help address congestion issues.
Managed lanes on I-90 shows broad regional support -- it is concurred upon within the Kane County 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan and 2030 Land Resource Management Plan, is recommended in the Village of Hoffman Estate's 2007 Comprehensive Plan, and is supported by local transportation agencies. As early as December 2007, CMAP, in coordination with the Tollway, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), and Pace submitted a Congestion Reduction Demonstration proposal to the U.S. DOT. The submittal proposes congestion pricing along the I-90/Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. While the proposal was not selected by U.S. DOT for funding at that time, the effort demonstrated a regional commitment among both planners and implementing agencies to a careful implementation of congestion pricing.
Earlier in 2011, the Tollway and RTA started to examine design options and implementation costs of managed lanes with expanded transit service on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. With the FHWA grant expanding the study to the entire I-90 corridor, the Tollway will be able to model transit operations, identify future transit infrastructure funding, and conduct commuter surveys. A Policy Updates blog post from June described how accurate travel models are crucial to reflect the estimated impact of implementing congestion pricing in the region. CMAP is committed to improving its advanced travel models, including design of a new highway traffic demand model that responds to pricing and toll strategies currently outlined in GO TO 2040.
The Tollway study's results will be used by their I-90 Corridor Planning Council to identify the best options for building a corridor that meets the needs of Tollway drivers and transit users from Rockford to Chicago.