Chicago’s I-355 southern extension to open Nov. 11

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The 12.5-mile extension of the North-South Interstate 355 Tollway in the Chicago area will open Nov. 11, providing a new alternate route for traffic in Will County and the southwest suburbs — but at a substantial price.

To be dedicated as the Veterans Memorial Tollway, the road will connect I-55 on the north and I-80 to the south. The biggest part of the project includes a 1.3-mile-long bridge over the Des Plaines River.

Work began on the project in late 2004. It is expected to relieve some of the major traffic pressure on area roadways. Widening work also is under way on I-55 from Weber Road to beyond I-80 as crews add a third traffic lane; that work is expected to be completed in late 2008.

Tolls for five-axle trucks using the extension will be as high as $8 for cash payments during peak periods. I-Pass users will pay as much as $2 less, depending on the time of day.