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Governor Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn Churns Out Another Commission: This Time It’s the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass Advisory Council


(Chicago, IL) — October 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined public and private sector leaders to announce the formation of another in a long line of gubernatorial advisory councils. This one will assist in the planning and building of the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass.

The new Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass Advisory Council will work to extend the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway east and build the long-sought west bypass route around O’Hare International Airport.

The project will create more than 21,000 short-term and 60,000 long-term jobs, according to Quinn.

“Constructing the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass will help O’Hare International Airport to reach its full potential as an economic engine for Northeast Illinois and support our continued economic recovery  by creating 80,000 jobs,” said Quinn.

Established by executive order, the Governor’s advisory council, a favorite and slightly overused tool by Quinn, will include 19 members representing local governments, the business community, regional planning groups, labor and public finance.

Last year, impacted communities reached an agreement on the path the road will take, which will follow east along Thorndale Avenue before linking with the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294).

The advisory council will act as a sounding board for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (Tollway) as the state explores potential financial structures and funding sources for the project estimated to cost $3.6 billion. Other topics the advisory council will focus on include: job growth, freight movement, transit features, workforce diversity, bike and pedestrian enhancements and green technologies.

“The Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass is going to be a 21st century project that keeps Illinois at the forefront of a global economy,” said IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig.

“The Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass will bring tremendous growth and opportunity to Illinois and the entire Midwest region,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur.

The Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass is entering the second stage of environmental and engineering studies. This phase of the environmental impact statement will be completed in 2012 and sent to the federal government for approval. Construction could start as early as 2013.

Designated a “Project of National Significance” by the Federal Highway Administration, the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass was awarded $140 million by the federal government in 2005. The state matched that contribution with $35 million. To date, $45 million has been spent on engineering and land acquisition.

The new council members include:

  • Gary Hannig, Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation  (Co-Chair)
  • Kristi Lafleur, Executive Director, Illinois Toll Highway Authority (Co-Chair)
  • John Gates, Jr., Chairman, Regional Transportation Authority
  • Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation
  • Christopher Meister, Executive Director, Illinois Finance Authority
  • Bob Schillerstrom, Chairman, DuPage County Board
  • Frank Soto, Village President of Bensenville, DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference
  • Martin J. Moylan, Mayor of Des Plaines, Northwest Municipal Conference
  • Barrett Pedersen, Village President of Franklin Park, West Central Municipal Conference
  • Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director, Metropolitan Agency for Planning
  • MarySue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Jorge Ramirez, President, Chicago Federation of Labor
  • Tom Villanova, President, Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Michael Derrico, President, DuPage County Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Jerry Roper, President & Chief Executive Officer, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Paul Cerpa, Executive Director, Hispanic American Construction Industry Association
  • Larry Ivory, President and Chief Executive Officer, Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce
  • James Pandolfi, Retired, CPA

The council will present its first report to the Governor next spring–whoever it may be.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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