PIRG Releases Third Highway Boondoggles Report
Since the press release from the report was issued by the Illinois PIRG, the first boondoggle described is also the most costly, the proposed State Routes 53/120 toll road in Lake County. Approved by the llinois Toll Highway Authority Board in December 2015, it is expected to cost $2.3 billion.
“This 23-mile toll road will accelerate urban sprawl, induce more traffic on local roads and have a negative impact on the surrounding environment. It’s time to reassess our priorities when it comes to big highway projects or we’ll never solve our transportation issues,” said Abraham Scarr, Director at the Illinois PIRG Education Fund.
Livable Lake County, a coalition of organizations, has been the main source of resistance to the state route 53/120 extension project.
- I-4 “Beyond the Ultimate,” Florida, $2.2 billion – The construction of tolled express lanes along 40 miles of highway has been pitched, in part, as a way to avoid bottlenecks created by another $2 billion highway expansion project now underway in Orlando.
- I-75 North Truck Lanes, Georgia, $2 billion – Construction of the nation’s first long-haul, truck-only lanes would represent a giveaway to the trucking industry, while undermining a rail-based approach to freight movement in Georgia that is intended to get trucks off the roads.
- I-405 Widening, California, $1.9 billion – Widening one of the nation’s busiest stretches of Interstate highway in Orange County would draw new traffic to the road, create new bottlenecks, and replicate the failed approach to congestion relief of an earlier I-405 widening project in Los Angeles.
All nine "are but a sampling of many questionable highway projects nationwide that could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars to build, and even more money over the course of upcoming decades to maintain."
Among the report's six recommendations:
- Adopt fix-it-first policies that reorient transportation funding away from newer and wider highways and toward repair of existing roads and investment in other transportation options.
- United States
- Government / Politics
- Lake County
- Orange County
- Express Lanes
- Highway Boondoggles
- Highway Building
- Highway Widening
- I-4 Ultimate
- I-405 Improvement Project
- State Routes 53/120 Toll Road
- Toll Roads
- Truck Lanes
- Frontier Group
- Illinois PIRG
- Illinois Tollway Authority
- Livable Lake County
- U.S. PIRG