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updated: 12/12/2013 7:40 AM

NW Ind. commission to vote on proposed highway

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Associated Press

PORTAGE, Ind. -- A northwestern Indiana planning board is expected to vote on whether to move forward with building the proposed Illiana Expressway that would connect Interstate 65 near Lowell with Interstate 55 south of Chicago.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is set to vote Thursday on the 47-mile-long tollway. The commission's transportation policy committee last week endorsed including the highway in regional transportation plans. The plan already has 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 road would have minimal impact on economic development and is too costly.

The Illinois Department of Transportation estimates construction costs at $1.3 billion, with Illinois responsible for about $1 billion.

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