We have all been part of the backup. We've probably scrambled to find 15 cents, but what was known as the Cherry Valley Toll Plaza is now completely free.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich unveiled the new “Toll Free” signs. After that, it didn't take long for crews to unscrew and remove what's taken a toll on drivers since 1972.
Blagojevich says, "You can spend more time at work and more time at home rather than be stuck in traffic dealing with all the frustrations that go along with that."
The actual plaza will remain intact for now, but instead of stopping drivers should slow down to 25 miles per hour.
Rockford Mayor Doug Scott says, "It helps the whole area. It doesn't stop or choke off traffic from getting into the community."
While we're saving 15 cents, the Illinois Tollway Authority is going to be spending $35 million in the next phase of changes at the Cherry Valley Toll Plaza. Phase 2 will reconstruct the Northwest Tollway/I-39 interchange with a flyover ramp. With new and improved directions of travel some say we have opened a new road to development.
Bob Levin with the Economic Development Council says, "We are removing an uncertainty and providing a clear path to progress for many folks. People on the sidelines can make an investment without uncertainty."
Phase 2 of the project will begin in 2006.