Houbolt Toll Agreement

Senate Bill 531, signed Friday, allows the Will County Board to set a toll for the toll bridge over the Des Plaines River near Houbolt Road. Peter Skosey, executive director of state government affairs for BNSF Railway, which is south of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, said that if roads are transferred to CenterPoint, it could introduce tolls on those roads, and trucks that don`t benefit from the new bridge should help pay for it. State laws would need to be changed to allow CenterPoint to take responsibility for the roads and set the toll. It can recommend a toll, but it must be approved by the County Board, she said. In an agreement announced this summer, CenterPoint agreed to pay $170 million for the construction of the bridge, and the state would pay $21 million to widen Houbolt to four runways and improve the intersection between Houbolt and I-80. CenterPoint does not want new truck routes added in the area west of Highway 53, south of Interstate 80, east of I-55 and north of Elwood. The plan does not include Interstates or Route 53 and would not prevent the county from improving existing roads. According to Tatroe, CenterPoint wanted some insurance before conducting a financial feasibility study. “We look forward to the end of 2022,” said Michael Murphy, CEO of CenterPoint.

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