Penn Entertainment’s plan to move its Illinois casino in Aurora to land is still underway. However, traffic concerns are a hot conversation topic among city commissioners.
Penn is moving its riverboat casino to a new land-based location near Fox River as part of a $500 million investment plan.
City commissioners worried about traffic
During a public hearing Wednesday in which the Aurora Planning and Zoning Commission approved a rezoning request, two commissioners asked about the effect on traffic.
Commissioner Nancy Martinez appeared concerned about how busy the intersection would become.
Similarly, Commissioner Yvonne Owusu-Safo asked if the city is coordinating with the Illinois Tollway regarding the casino’s effect on the entrance and exit ramps for I-88.
According to the Daily Herald, a city engineer said streets would be upgraded to include right-turn lanes. The engineer also said there was a chance the intersection could qualify for a traffic light.
As for the casino’s effect on the entrance and exit ramps, plans are calling for the Illinois Tollway to reopen one of the lanes on the exit from the westbound tollway to Farnsworth. The lane was previously closed after the tollway removed a coin-collecting toll machine.
Casino move almost seven months in the making
Penn originally submitted its request to uplift its riverboat almost seven months ago.
At the time, Penn President and CEO Jay Snowden said:
“Our plan for Aurora is to construct a modern, best-in-class casino and hotel in an ideal location off I-88 that will allow us to serve the millions of visitors to the adjacent Simon Premium Outlet Mall.”
The $360 million casino project will include 900 slot machines, 50 table games and several other amenities.
Penn moving its riverboat to land is part of a broader expansion of Illinois casino gaming.
Other projects under construction include:
- Wind Creek Chicago Southland
- Bally’s temporary Chicago casino at The Medinah Temple
- Bally’s permanent Chicago casino
- New casinos in Waukegan, Rockford, Danville, and Walker’s Bluff