Is the Illiana Expressway project officially scuttled?

Updated 9/22/2015 6:34 PM

The Federal Highway Administration has dropped its objections to a judge's ruling against the Illiana Expressway, which could mean the end of the road for the controversial project.

A federal judge in June called a Federal Highway Administration report and decision in favor of the controversial expressway "arbitrary and capricious."

The proposed tollway would link I-55 in the south suburbs with I-65 in Indiana.

The highway administration filed a legal challenge but confirmed it was withdrawn Tuesday, delighting the Environmental Law and Policy Center which sued to stop construction of the Illiana.

"It's time for the federal and state transportation agencies to now bring the boondoggle Illiana Tollway to an end," Executive Director Howard Learner said in a statement.

This summer amid the budget crisis, Gov. Bruce Rauner suspended work on the expressway, a pet project of former Gov. Pat Quinn.

"In light of the state's current fiscal crisis and a lack of sufficient capital resources, the Illiana Expressway will not move forward at this time. Project costs exceed currently available resources," a statement from Rauner said.

In 2013, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning said the Illiana was financially risky and could cost taxpayers more than $1.1 billion.

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