Written by Brian Slupski
The Des Plaines Oasis will be removed after the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors approved an agreement Thursday with the oases lessee SFI Chicago Tollway LLC.
The agreement will compensate SFI $9.3 million.
"The removal of the Des Plaines Oasis is bittersweet to those of us who have visited there and consider the Tollway oases to be an important part of our agency’s history," said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “But, in our view, the tremendous benefits that will result from this expanded roadway – faster travel times, less congestion, reduced pollution and enhanced regional mobility – far outweigh the loss."
The over-the-road Des Plaines Oasis structure will be removed as part of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project and the termination costs are included in the project’s $2.2 billion budget, a press release from the tollway states. Based on recent collections, the Tollway expects to recover this amount in concession revenues from the seven oases sites within four years.
Closure of the oasis building and utility work will begin in April, with removal of over-the-road structure anticipated in June 2014. The two adjoining fuel stations and convenience stores operated by 7-Eleven will remain open to provide services for both eastbound and westbound travelers along I-90, the press release states.
Removing the oasis will allow for a fourth lane to be built in each direction from O’Hare International Airport to Elgin. This increase in capacity will ease congestion. Overall it is projected to accommodate up to 30,000 more vehicles a day. Removal of the Des Plaines Oasis is also necessary as the Tollway proceeds with construction of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project, the press release states.