Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad providing property rights to accommodate roadway and interchange construction

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors today approved agreements with Soo Line Railroad Company d/b/a Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad representing the next major step forward for the I-490 Tollway Project.  

The forms of agreement will allow for the mutual exchange of property rights necessary for construction of the new I-490 Tollway extending south from the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) to the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) with interchanges creating new access into and around O’Hare International Airport and will enable improvements to rail operations in the Chicago Terminal area.  

Construction of the new I-490 Tollway is planned to cross the Union Pacific Railroad at several locations, including where western access into and out of O’Hare International Airport is planned, as well as near the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) at the location of the future I-490/I-294 Interchange. The new I-490 Tollway is also planned to cross over the Canadian Pacific at several locations including where western access to the airport is planned and in the Canadian Pacific’s Bensenville Yard. The project will require relocating Canadian Pacific trackage south of the yard.  

The agreements would also provide the Tollway with property rights that will advance adjacent projects supporting construction of Cook County’s planned improvements to Touhy Avenue, which include replacement of the at-grade crossing at the Union Pacific Railroad with a new bridge that will relieve congestion and improve access to the north side of O’Hare International Airport.    

Due to the overall magnitude and potential to dramatically improve mobility, freight connectivity and enhance the national and regional economies, the corridor was designated as a “Project of National and Regional Significance” by federal transportation legislation and the project has continued to advance with support from Illinois Congressional leaders. 

The new I-490 Tollway, scheduled to be complete by the end of 2025, coupled with the Illinois Route 390 Tollway which was completed in 2017, will connect businesses and communities with one of the nation’s busiest airports, transit facilities, major freight transportation hubs, distribution centers and multiple interstate highways including the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Designed to accommodate access into the O’Hare International Airport, the two new all-electronic Tollways include 17 miles of new roads with 15 new or improved interchanges.

The new I-490 Tollway will be built to carry north-south traffic around the western border of O’Hare and provide access to the airport. The Illinois Route 390 Tollway, which currently carries east-west traffic between Lake Street (Illinois Route 20) and Illinois Route 83, will include an interchange connection to the new I-490 Tollway. 

About Move Illinois

The Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, is improving mobility, relieving congestion, reducing pollution, creating as many as 120,000 jobs and linking economies throughout the region. The first eight years of Move Illinois are on schedule and within budget, delivering the new Illinois Route 390 Tollway and a rebuilt and widened Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) with its new SmartRoad corridor, as well as opening a new interchange connecting the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57. Progress continues on projects addressing the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system, delivering the new I-490 Tollway Project and reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).