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UPDATE: Idea for I-70 truck lanes might be accelerated

March 5, 2007

Chances could be as high as one-in-three that federal transportation officials will put on a fast track a request by Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio to add special truck lanes along Interstate 70.

This summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation plans to pick as many as five projects for its Corridors of the Future program. Corridors status expedites environmental reviews and other procedural issues needed to undertake transportation projects.

The I-70 truck proposal is among 14 semi-finalists chosen in February. Two others affect Indiana roads: a proposal to link northwestern Indiana and Illinois by building the Illiana Expressway toll road; and an Arkansas proposal to extend Interstate 69 from Texas to Michigan.

Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio want to relieve congestion by adding the special lanes along the interstate through all four states. Although the states are still refining ideas, the lanes might accommodate heavier trucks or allow trucks to drive faster. Another idea is to let trucks pull more than two trailers.

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