The historic ground-breaking of the long-awaited Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project took place at the intersection of Thorndale Avenue & Park Boulevard. Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur, Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin all spoke praising and thanking the many federal and state legislators, as well as the stakeholder groups that worked collectively in partnership to get the Western Access project ready to start construction.
"IRTBA is proud to have been part of this truly diverse and bipartisan group that is putting the interests of Illinois first," says Jennifer Krug McNaughton, chairman of Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA).?"The Western Access project is a long-overdue improvement to area congestion woes. This will not only create jobs in the short-term, but expand opportunities west of O'Hare Airport."
A sign displaying the new name of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway, Illinois Route 390, was unveiled after the official ground-breaking ceremony. (Pictured from left: Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur, Governor Pat Quinn, and IDOT Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.)
The $3.4 billion project includes plans for 17 miles of new toll roads, 15 new or improved interchanges, and will bring needed congestion relief, reduced travel times, new access to O'Hare International Airport, and thousands of jobs for residents of the region.
"Whether you're living north, south, east or west, there [are] things we have to do in our state, not just for our time, but for the next generation [...] and that's really what this road is all about," Governor Pat Quinn said at today's ground-breaking ceremony and press conference. "If you don't invest, you don't grow," he said.
The Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project is part of the Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion Move Illinois capital program. It is expected to create or support as many as 65,000 jobs by 2040, when combined with completion of the western terminal at O'Hare International Airport.