Chicago Plans to Turn Expressways into Tollways

Oct. 14, 2022
On to 2050 pledges to help the community in Chicago

In an attempt to ease congestion in Chicago and fund infrastructure projects, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) released its On to 2050 plan this week with some proposals that may fix that problem.

“We’ve talked to a lot of people experiencing extreme congestion. Managed lanes are a way to think about how do you get to a free-flow traffic lane? Part of that has to do with pricing the lane,” said Erin Aleman, the executive director of CMAP. 

One proposal from CMAP is adding "managed lanes" to several expressways in Chicago which would be tolled expressway lanes.

The proposed sections are on: 

  • The Eisenhower from I-88 to Racine Avenue  
  • I-90 from Jane Addams to I-94 merge 
  • I-90/94 from the Edens Junction to Hubbard Street 
  • I-94 from the Tollway Spur to Lawrence Avenue 
  • Kennedy and Dan Ryan from Hubbard Street to 31st Street 
  • I-55 from DuSable Lake Shore Drive to I-80 
  • I-55 between I-90/94 and I-355 

The current express lanes on the Kennedy would be converted under the new plan to include surge pricing during rush hour. 

“A lot of these are dynamically priced as it gets busier prices could go up and shift to other modes,” said Aleman. “We are going to need to do something different to have a better experience on our roads.” 

In developing the On to 2050 plan, CMAP spent roughly three years working with organizations to conduct research, issue over 2 dozen reports, and engage with residents in seven counties. The On to 2050 plan builds off of its predecessor, Go to 2040.

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Source: CMAP