Amid Political Charges, Chicago Planning Agency Rejects Illiana Corridor

The Chicago region's main planning agency turned thumbs-down Wednesday on Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed Illiana Corridor amid charges that the governor was playing political hardball to get the project approved.

The board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, made up of representatives from the seven-county region and the city of Chicago, voted 10-4 to reject the controversial $1.3 billion project.

The action sets the stage for a final, decisive vote on the Illiana next week by another key regional planning board.

The Illiana would be a 47-mile toll road running through southern Will County, linking Interstate 55 near Wilmington with I-57 near Peotone and I-65 near Lowell, Ind.

The project needs the support of the planning boards for development. But CMAP contends the project is incompatible with the agency's long-range master plan. Among other objections, it argues that the project has the potential to expose the state to "significant financial risk."

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