Action Alert: Tell CMAP to Remove the Proposed Illiana Tollroad from our region's GO TO 2040 Plan

July 24, 2014

Tell the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to Remove the Proposed Illiana Tollroad from our region's GO TO 2040 Plan.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is updating our comprehensive regional plan for seven counties in northeastern Illinois.  GO TO 2040 is nationally recognized for fostering sustainable land-use planning to drive economic growth.  We need for CMAP to exclude the Illiana from the plan.

Last fall, the CMAP Board voted 10 to 4 against including the proposed Illiana tollroad on the region's "constrained" list of funded priority major capital transportation projects because the billion dollar road was too great a financial risk and violated core principles of the GO TO 2040 plan.  A subcommittee, the MPO Policy Committee, then voted in defiance of the Board consensus to include the project in the plan.  

Please tell the CMAP Board that they should once again vote to exclude the Illiana from our regional GO TO 2040 plan.  

  • The Illiana violates the GO TO 2040 plan's underlying Green Infrastructure Vision, degrading globally significant natural areas, like Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, polluting waterways, such as Forked Creek and the Kankakee River, and harming threatened and endangered species.
  • The road would pave thousands of acres of prime farmland, ruining it for food production. The Illiana contradicts the GO TO 2040 focus on infill development, diverting growth from urban areas into rural communities that have farmed the land for generations.  
  • The proposed Illiana project is a financial nightmare, funneling over a billion dollars of taxpayer money into a tollroad ten miles south of Joliet.  CMAP staff found that the flawed project exposes the public to extensive financial risk.  The Illiana would sideline funding for other critical transportation and transit needs in our region for the next 39 years.
  • CMAP staff found the project will have negligible traffic benefits. Even if it meets IDOT's overblown projections, the road would only move 20,000 cars and trucks a day - two thirds the traffic on Irving Park Road in Chicago.   

Tell CMAP that the Illiana Tollway is a misplaced priority that undermines GO TO 2040 and sound regional planning. To voice your concerns, submit a public comment to the CMAP Board on its website or through Sierra Club.  You can also attend the final public hearing on July 31st from 4 to 7 pm at the CMAP downtown office in the Willis Tower, located at 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800 in Chicago.  RSVP by contacting Jessica Gershman or by phone at 312-386-8631.

For more information contact Stacy Meyers or by phone at 312-863-6265.

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