This week Governor Rauner issued an executive order that puts a hold on the proposed $1.3 billion Illiana tollway, bringing a ray of sunshine to local residents, taxpayers and environmentalists. Now, more than ever, Governor Rauner needs to hear from you that this project is a boondoggle!
The Illiana tollway is a 47-mile road that will cut through and destroy 3,165 acres of prime farmland, including centennial farms, stripping people of their land and livelihoods. The Illiana tollway is a fiscally irresponsible project that contradicts sound regional planning, saddles taxpayers with debt, fails to address traffic congestion, and is opposed by every major newspaper in the state.
The tollway will impact the environment of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Midewin is our nation’s first federally protected tallgrass prairie, featuring rare and endangered grassland birds and the planned reintroduction of bison. The Illiana would also pollute the Kankakee Watershed.
In additional news, Governor Rauner announced the appointment of former head of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Randy Blankenhorn to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Last year, CMAP issued a scathing report on the Illiana Tollway releasing findings that the tollway would “provide negligible traffic benefits” and that the “estimated cost and potential financing structure expose the State of Illinois to considerable financial risk.” If the tollway is built, Illinois will forfeit $440 million to $1.1 billion to compensate for flagging toll revenue.
We will be delivering the petition at the end of January.