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Illiana Expressway foes say process is flawed; file lawsuit >

Three conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago that says the Illiana Expressway approval process has been flawed and the road shouldn't be built.

Lawyers say the Federal Highway Administration should not have approved an environmental study that paves the way for the 47-mile road because the study was based on flawed population and employment projections.

The lawsuit also states the route is contrary to land-use plans developed by regional planning groups in each state.

The proposed Illiana route would stretch from Interstate 55 near Wilmington to Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind.

Also, the lawsuit contends that the Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation " ... failed to establish the need for the road and properly evaluate alternatives to the proposed tollway route.

Illinois Department of Transportation officials, who recently fast-tracked the $1.3 billion Illiana and recommended it be a tollway constructed through a public-private partnership, were reviewing the lawsuit Thursday and declined comment.

94.1 FM, WGFA