The current tollway system is at the end of its useful life, says a spokesman for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. The oldest parts of the highway need to be completely replaced, while newer sections, about 25 years old, need wider lanes.
For now, reconstructing the tollway has been put off until at least 2004 because of the multibillion-dollar cost. Linda Pilecky, the tollway’s manager of planning, says a toll increase may be needed to pay for construction costs.
Even while the old tollroads need rebuilding, the state legislators have ordered several new roads. Tollway watchdogs say reconstruction should be put before these new projects.