The End of the Illiana Expressway Is Nigh
Austin Berg of the Illinois Policy Institute writes: "It may be the only statewide issue that fiscal conservatives, Chicago politicians, environmentalists, urban planners, legacy media and transportation experts can all agree on: The Illiana Expressway is a bad idea."
These groups must have released a sigh of relief around the state of Illinois when Governor Bruce Rauner announced that he ordered the Illinois Department of Transportation to suspend the project, saving $100 million toward a state budget shortfall of $4 billion next year.
The problem with the Illiana Expressway, according to its critics, is that "the Illiana would 'eat itself,' as planners had vastly overestimated the growth in vehicle miles over the next 30 years in the rural, sparsely populated area, and the tolls charged could have reached as much as four times more than other Illinois tollways, further driving down the number of users."
Berg's article makes an argument against the project, which is still eligible for federal funding, to be killed completely. The nail in the coffin for the project, according to Berg, would be to sell the land the state had acquired in prepartation for the project. The state has already spent $61 million in planning and land acquisition for the project.