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updated: 2/14/2014 8:13 AM

Public hearings on Ind.-Ill. toll road scheduled

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Associated Press

MUNSTER, Ind. -- The public can speak its mind about the route chosen for the proposed Illiana Expressway at public hearings next week.

The Times of Munster reports officials will accept comments on the route and the 47-mile highway's environmental impact at public hearings Feb. 18 in Lowell and Feb. 19 in Wilmington, Ill.

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Land acquisition specialists will also attend the hearings to speak with landowners along the route.

The proposed toll road would connect Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind., with Interstate 55 south of Chicago.

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 will have minimal impact on economic development while hurting the environment.

The highway still needs federal approval.

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