Planned Illiana Expressway between Illinois, Indiana clears federal environmental review

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — The planned Illiana Expressway between Indiana and Illinois has cleared a federal environmental review.

The Federal Highway Administration published a tier two final environmental impact statement Friday on the 47-mile tollway south of Chicago.

Critics call the $1.5 billion project an unnecessary expense and worry that taxpayers will be left on the hook if toll revenues don't live up to forecasts.

Environmental groups have also sought to block the plan out of concern it would endanger habitat for the threatened long-eared bat and have a negative impact on the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said in a prepared statement that the road will "create jobs and drive new economic growth."

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the Illiana will "loosen the regional congestion."

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