Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation authorizing the Illinois Department of Transportation to use quick-take power to acquire the necessary land.
Three possible corridors are now being considered for the so-called Illiana Expressway.
One route goes from I-55 near Wilmington directly east to I-65 just north of Lowell.
Another proposal has the expressway ending south of Lowell.
The third proposed route would skirt the northern side of the proposed third Chicago airport near Peotone.
The earliest construction could start is 2015.