Gov. Quinn announces $282M for Elgin O'Hare expansion

Gov. Pat Quinn and state officials announced $282.8 million of funding for an expansion of the interstates surrounding O’Hare Airport, according to a news release from state Sen. Tom Cullerton.

This funding is for the Elgin O'Hare Western Access (EOWA) Project which is expected to reduce congestion and improve west suburban access to the interstate system, the release said.

Cullerton, D-Villa Park, sponsored a resolution last year authorizing the project, which is part of a $1.4 billion tollway improvement project announced Friday.

Through it's Move Illinois capital program, the Illinois Tollway has pledged $3.1 billion toward the $3.4 billion EOWA project. Local officials need $300 million to cover the gap in funding.

The Illinois Tollway broke ground last year on the EOWA Project to extend the road east along Thorndale Avenue to O’Hare International Airport. EOWA will also connect to I-90 on the north and I-294 on the south.

Western Access is expected to create 65,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2040 when combined with completion of the western terminal at O'Hare Airport. It will also save $145 million in annual motorist travel costs and be the first all-electronic toll road in the state.