Action Alert: Stop the Proposed Illiana Tollway

May 25, 2014

Please contact your legislators right away and ask that they say NO to wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money on the proposed Illiana Tollway, which is bad for Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and bad for Illinois. Click here to take action.

It looks like the Illinois Department of Transportation will try a "midnight madness" move to sneak the Illiana boondoggle into the Illinois state budget in the next few days by the Legislature's May 31 deadline. IDOT wants to change the law to make the proposed Illiana Tollway the number one transportation priority in the State, receiving transportation funding before any other road project for decades. IDOT may also try to amend the Illinois Regional Planning Act to override the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's 10-4 majority vote against the proposed Illiana Tollway. These changes are bad policy and endanger important natural treasures.

Our legislators should tell their Senate and House leaders to oppose budgeting any dollars or otherwise promoting the Illiana road to nowhere.

1. IDOT's "Chicago-style parking meter deal for the Illiana" will saddle Illinois taxpayers with a $250-million down payment, locking the State into a billion-dollar subsidy that will divert money from all other badly needed priority transportation projects across the State for at least the next 30 years. Crain's Chicago Business and the Chicago Tribune are lambasting the Illiana road to nowhere as a colossal waste. The massive highway would move less traffic than Cicero Avenue or Roosevelt Road in Chicago.

2. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning resoundingly voted "NO" to the proposed Illiana Tollway in a rural area of southern Will County because it undermines sensible regional planning. It will impact ecological treasures such as the Kankakee River and the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, as well as harming habitat for several federally endangered species and destroying thousands of acres of farmland. The road will siphon jobs from other counties, drawing criticism and opposition by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the project.

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