Illiana deal awaits key funding decision

The Illiana Expressway P3 is hanging in the balance this week as it awaits a decision on its inclusion in a key state development priority plan.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is due to vote in the next week on whether or not to put the project on the region's top priority list, a move that will qualify it for vital federal funding.

It is not yet known what will become of the project should it not feature in the plan, however the group's transportation committee narrowly approved the project in a preliminary vote last week.

request for qualifications for the project is currently scheduled to be issued this fall by the Illinois and Indiana state governments, under a design, build, finance, operate and maintain framework.

This announcement came last month, despite criticism of the deal from the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), which called for the project to be excluded from the priority plan amid concerns over the long-term value of the deal.

Despite this, Illinois Department of Transportation has dismissed the claims, claiming that the MPC’s analysis was “flawed”.