Uncertainties Surrounding Chicago's Crosstown Expressway

CED-78-135: Published: Jun 30, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1978.

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Cost estimates for constructing the proposed 19.9-mile Crosstown Expressway in Chicago, Illinois, were examined, and each government's share of the costs were determined. The Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) estimated that the expressway, not including a 6.3 mile northern segment, will cost about $1.25 billion in 1975. Final costs will depend on inflation rates. The expressway's future as of June 1978 was uncertain because FHwA had withdrawn its location and design approval and requested a reevaluation. The 6.3 mile segment was withdrawn from the interstate system in response to an application and, as a result, is no longer eligible for construction with interstate funds. Substitute funding is available, but Illinois has no current plans for this construction. If the segment is built without interstate funds, many procedural requirements for interstate highways would still have to be satisfied. Costs of constructing federal-aid highways in Chicago are traditionally shared by the State, Chicago, Cook County, and the federal government. Under current plans and procedures, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the costs (about $1 billion) of the expressway on the interstate system. The State, county, and city share of the costs could vary from $46 million to $155 million each, depending on the inflation rate and the amount of federal participation. State and city officials did not believe that a motor fuel tax increase would be necessary to pay for the expressway.

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