A northwest Indiana planning board has voted in favor of a proposed Illiana Expressway that would connect Interstate 65 near Lowell with Interstate 55 south of Chicago. The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission voted today in favor of the 47-mile-long tollway. That move clears the way for the proposal to be submitted for final federal approvals. The plan previously had been approved by a similar Illinois board. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn both support the project, saying it would promote economic development. Critics maintain the $1.3 billion road would have minimal impact on economic development and is too costly. Officials say if the project gets the needed federal approvals, work could begin as early as 2015.
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