BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- Belvidere hopes it can spur economic growth with a new interchange. Monday nights meeting was a closed session, so no official dollar amounts were given out to the public. Decision makers say they have agreed on a "comfortable dollar figure" for the land needed to build the additional three interchanges.
Currently you can only get onto Irene Road from I-90 if you're heading west. Monday nights discussion allows the project to move into the next step which is approaching the land owner about willingness to sell and agreeing on a price. Now if the talks are successful, the decision will come back to the county board and city council for a vote. Right now there is no time frame on when that could occur.
The total price tag is estimated to be around $4.5 million for the entire project, but the Illinois Tollway Authority is willing to foot most of that bill if Boone County and Belvidere can purchase the land.
We're told the interchange could create as many as 18,000 jobs and provide $2.4 million to the economy within the next 20 years.