Plan to Extend Route 53/120 in Lake County Takes Step Forward

The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors is expected to approve a new contract with TranSystem later this month.


The Illinois Tollway’s Finance Administration Operations and Strategic Planning Committees today recommended approval of a $4 million contract award to Schaumburg- based TranSystems Corp. to continue to plan for the proposed extension of Illinois Route 53/120 in Lake County.

“This is an important step forward for the Illinois Route 53/120 Extension, which is expected to create thousands of jobs and drive economic development in Lake County and the region for decades to come,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “This project can also serve as a national model for how to design and build a roadway that preserves and protects the environment and local communities.”

The new contract recommended for approval today will develop a detailed engineering concept, evaluate cost estimates, refine traffic and revenue analyses and survey customers’ willingness to pay tolls on the proposed extension. The contract also includes services to study the environmental and economic impacts of the project. Work is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Open and transparent process

“The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council’s recommendations were the result of an open and transparent process that included tremendous cooperation that helped us reach consensus on this project,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “We expect this process to be a model for planning for all Tollway projects moving forward. The contract that we are recommending today allows us to continue this important work.”

Another key recommendation from the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council was development of a coordinated, corridorwide land use plan. Last June, after reviewing the Council’s report, the Tollway's Strategic Planning Committee agreed to participate such a plan.

Lake County and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) are working to advance the land use plan through CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance program. The process will actively engage each municipality along the corridor to develop an integrated plan for land use, transportation, economic development and open space. The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council recommended that the completed plan be adopted by Lake County and each municipality. The corridor plan process is expected to be underway by mid-2013.

“We are very happy to see this important project move forward,” said Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor. “Lake County will continue to take an active role in making the project a reality and is happy to partner with CMAP in advancing the corridorwide land use plan.”

“This project provides an opportunity to not only build a road that’s in harmony with nature, but also forge an integrated plan for development in Central Lake County,” said George Ranney, co-chair of the Illinois Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council.


The Illinois Route 53/120 Extension is expected to cost between $2.3 and $2.7 billion. Cost estimates developed as part of the detailed engineering concept will inform future discussions on how to finance the project and potential sources of revenue. This could include local and other sources, as recommended by the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council.

The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors is expected to approve the contract with TranSystems Corp. at its Feb. 28 meeting.

The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council brought together public officials and representatives from business, labor, planning and environmental groups to assist in the planning and potential building of the Illinois Route 53/120 Extension in Lake County. Its final report recommended that the Tollway proceed with further development of Illinois Route 53 as a four-lane, 45 mph tolled parkway. The report also outlined the scope, configuration and design elements of the new roadway and proposed a financial framework for the project. 

Submitted by the Illinois Tollway

Vortex February 21, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Please direct route 53 right through my living room, so IDOT can buy my house and I can get out of Illinois with some cash to start over in a free state.
sankar February 21, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Vortex, You should pick another country like Somalia or Yemen. Or Afghanisthan once US pulls out or Mali after the French pull out. You will be free to buy guns, heck, you will have to buy guns, as powerful as they can get to protect yourself. No worries about a bloated government, there is no government to speak about or it will be funded by the Western countries. You can chose not to pay taxes, maybe some protection money to the local terrorist. As free as one can get. You can grow your dope in the backyard, get a telly, hook it to a dish and watch your favorite American soaps. You might not even have to worry about your missus, in most of these "free" countries, they are considered your property.
BgBooster February 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Hey did all you self-centered yahoos ever hear of eminent domain? How stupid were you when you bought land in the path of a roadway or backing up to an open field???? Did you REALLY think there would never be a highway, shopping center, gas station, or car dealership going in there???? (Wait. This is Buffalo Grove-strike car dealership -make that empty plot of concrete.) Do you GO to a gas station, a shopping center, buy a car, etc? Odds are someone's home was bought and razed to put that business there. Or the existing homes backed up to the field on which it was built. But I get it - that was someone ELSE's home so it's ok as long as you can drop off your cleaning. Mean time people are out of work, our property taxes are sky high because we have no commercial tax base. But we "live in the country". Want to be guaranteed you can live the "old way"? Move to Amish country. They choose to stay in the 18th century. Live free and clean your clothes by hand, take your horse and buggy through the woods to get to the barn dance, make your furniture yourself with "tongue and groove" and by all means "Live Free". Mean time I will get up to Lake County on the 53 extension
Tea drinker February 22, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I'd like to see a specific map where the route will go.
Say it isn't so February 22, 2013 at 03:31 PM
The route has been in place since 1959 - What was once swamp is now a wetland- State bought the property cheap (imagine that)- Then the spotted owl people cause two alternate routes that now run thru some home owners living rooms. Everybody that bought a house (or built) backing up to this right of way paid far less for their property- Now your squawking????
Timothy Frillman February 22, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Amazing I am so happy that they are doing this... Will possibly create good well paying Union JOBS! Blow it through baby!
Rich M July 17, 2013 at 04:28 PM
I am so sick of there not being an interstate/tollway through western Lake County. So happy to have the congestion there because of some owls. So what if there are a MILLION people living there and only the Tri-State to support it? We need to suffer more arterial road congestion. The only road that I wish was built even more than this is the Crosstown Expressway in the city, but that will never happen. I'm sick of the squatters who bought land right where the extension was proposed decades ago and now they are complaining. Hahaha - dumbasses!


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