SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Illiana approved

Friday, Oct 18, 2013

* Daily Herald

Amid a split among suburban leaders, the controversial Illiana Expressway received a shot in the arm Thursday when a planning board endorsed the road, marking a significant political victory for Gov. Pat Quinn.

The Illiana is a proposed tollway linking I-55 in the south suburbs with I-65 in Indiana that would be built as a public-private partnership. While Quinn and the Illinois Department of Transportation are backing it as a vital piece of infrastructure, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning warns it will cost taxpayers up to $1.1 billion.

CMAP’s powerful Metropolitan Planning Organization policy committee voted 11 to 8 in favor of putting the roadway on the GO TO 2040 plan, which now makes it eligible for federal funding. The MPO includes county board chairman, transit agencies and transportation industry representatives.

* Tribune

The toll road through Will County would connect Interstate 55 at Wilmington, I-57 near Peotone and I-65 near Lowell, Ind. Supporters said it would create 9,000 short-term jobs and generate thousands more over the next three decades.

In a separate vote, the Policy Committee also gave IDOT the authority to spend more than $80 million for more engineering and land acquisition. IDOT has already spent about $40 million in planning work on the project. […]

Voting in favor of the Illiana were the county chairmen or their representatives from Will, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Lake counties, along with officials from the Illinois Tollway, Metra and Pace.

Opponents included representatives from Cook and McHenry counties, the city of Chicago and the CTA and the Regional Transportation Authority.

The RTA has, as a matter of routine, dissed the south suburbs for years on transit projects. Now its hostility has extended to privately backed toll roads. Sheesh.

* What’s next

Now, the project is set to go out to bid in early November, according to Illinois Transportation Secretary Anne Schneider, who chairs the policy committee. The state is looking for proposals from investment firms that are partnered with engineering and contracting companies.

Schneider said the Federal Highway Administration also needs to approve environmental studies before construction begins on the highway, which she hopes will happen by the end of 2014 or early in 2015.

* However, litigation is almost guaranteed

Chicago’s Environmental Law and Policy Center, an Illiana foe, is “reviewing all of our legal options,” according to deputy executive director Kevin Brubaker.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DuPage - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    Litigation may or may not delay things very much. I remember there were a couple thousand lawsuits filed by farmers over the east-west toll way (now I-88). When it went to court, a judge consolidated it into one big case. Then he proceeded to dismiss the case.

  2. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    If the legal entanglements take half as long as they did for the I-355 extension between I-55 and I-80 in the SW burbs, there are many years to go for this project.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    It must drive Emanuel crazy that he can’t beat Quinn.

  4. - Been There - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    I am all for the project as I take I-65 to I-80 a few times a year and there is definitely a need to cut down on that bottle neck. But I think they should have chosen the path farther north. The one that would have taken it north of the proposed airport. That would be closer to the people already in the area and would get more use. Land would be more expensive but the farther south route might make it hard to get enough users.
    Also, they need to extend I-394 south to hook up with this road.

  5. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    I understand the exurban sprawl concerns and loss of farmland concerns, but still glad this was passed.

    I also wish the ELPC, which I think overall does good work, would move to other matters now. The issue of the petroleum coke piles outside the BP refinery splashed across the trib website right now could be a good one to tackle for instance.

  6. - Chicago Publius - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    I wonder about Environmental Law & Policy Center’s opposition to this. They were happy to get behind Quinn and his pals when they gave away millions of dollars to the Class I railroads, so they could improve their private property with no guarantees of faster or more reliable passenger-rail service. If the Illiana will cut into freight-rail shipments, that might explain EPLC’s opposition.

  7. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    All boils dow to the numbers. What is the amount of money the states will be required to put up? Whos ox will be gored when the funds are diverted?

    Great if it is free, but how will the proposal stack up in competition with other projects that have been in the planning stages for many more years?

  8. - Commuter - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Is there a proposed map of the expressway?

  9. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    This is a chance to bid the road design, construction, and maintenance as a package. This could lead to much lower lifetime costs.
    In a power plant bid the cost of the boiler went up 40 percent when the boiler manufacturer was also responsible for maintenance costs and uptime guarantees. But lifetime costs fell by even more.

  10. - ~pfft - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 11:55 am:


  11. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 12:07 pm:

    The next logical move is to extend this road from Wilmington up to Morris. Otherwise the traffic coming north through Indiana on 65 headed for 80 west will have to backtrack north on 55.

  12. - OneMan - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Curious why the RTA was against this.. As for the RTA not liking the South Suburbs, having grown up there I can say that is true.

  13. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    @Chicago Publius-

    FYI, the Class I railroads, who had a seat on the CMAP vote, voted yes for the Illiana. Probably because what’s good for the intermodal truckers is good for the railroads too.

    Filing lawsuits can be out of genuine concern for the environment, and hopefully providing more environmentally friendly amenities to the project if they can’t stop it. There is also the possibility of taking people’s money and fund-raising and making work for lawyers, playing on people’s fears and hopes. I would hope it’s more of the former than the latter.

  14. - FP_J - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 12:22 pm:

    I’m pretty disappointed to see all of the anecdotal “I sat in traffic last weekend, therefore the Illiana must be built” reasoning in the comments on these posts. The reality is that it will divert only a small fraction of the traffic off of 80/294/94—according to IDOT’s own estimates.

    And Rich: the idea that this is a privately backed toll road is a fiction. The public will pay to do the $160 million studies. What’s more, Yonah Freemark has noted that “[d]espite the fact that IDOT holds the project up as a model public-private partnership (it will be a toll road), that arrangement will require availability payments to a private builder-maintainer-operator, which require a state guarantee over the long term and the state is likely to have to subsidize those payments above and beyond toll revenues.”* If this is such a viable toll road proposal, why doesn’t the Illinois Tollway build it?

    Beyond that, this represents a break down in rational transportation planning. Since this will cost the public money, and there is only so much money to go around, we need to _prioritize_ our investments. For a good post on this issue, see the blog post at the link below.


  15. - cod - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    I just cannot see what this road will do for the region, even if the Prairie Parkway were to be be built. It doesnt create a significant shortcut for cross country trucks, and doesnt connect any urban or manufacturing centers.

    This raises thoughts about whether this is a pork project.

  16. - Rollo Tomasi - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    While strongly in favor of this project I am very strongly opposed to the third airport. I find myself looking at the third airport as the biggest white elephant in the history of Illinois. Without a MAJOR carrier signing on to the project with prior financial backing they should never turn over one shovel of dirt on that project. If one of the big three airlines do not make that a hub it will never fly. The highway will have immediate positive effects with very minimal effects.

    Is it only me but I find myself opposing everything Rahm supports and supporting everything he opposes? I just don’t trust that man.

  17. - Mighty M. Mouse - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    === It must drive Emanuel crazy that he can’t beat Quinn. ===

    As former Gov. Jim Edgar explained a month ago, “Whether people are fond of him or not, he’s the governor and he’s going to be governor for another year and a half. That’s a lot of leverage.”

    Quinn spent decades on the outside looking in at those who held power. He was labeled a gadfly and that reputation has lived on, even though his circumstances changed radically and unexpectedly.

    Perpetually belittled but perfectly intelligent, he has continually improved his handling of the reins of power and that’s why it seems like Rahm can’t beat Quinn. The fact that he’s always been underestimated only made it that much easier for him to slowly tighten his grip, little by little, just like Squeezy, the pernicious pension python.

  18. - Huh? - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    I am not sure where the project is in the NEPA process, however, just because CMAP voted to included in the 2040 plan, there is still a long ways to go before the FHWA approves the EIS and Record of Decision. The lawsuits can challenge the findings in the EIS and ROD.

    INDOT has experience with a P3 project in the Louisville area. The East End Crossing of the Ohio River Bridge Project was advertised as a P3, where the builder is a consortium of financiers, construction and maintainers. The winning team was headed by Walsh Construction along with a french construction company and a german finance company. They are fronting the money to design, build and maintain the project. They will get reimbursed by the Indiana Finance Authority via an availability payment funded by tolls. In the event that the tolls don’t cover the availability payment, Indiana is on the hook to make up the difference. Construction for this project is underway with a completion date some time in 2016.

    I can see why the Tollway doesn’t want to build the project. There is nothing to connect to their existing system.

    By the way - Avoid Louisville, KY until January 2017. Construction has I-65, I-64, and I-71 torn up until the end of 2016.

  19. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    @ChicagoPublius - I believe that the ELPC favors rail travel over highways in general so I’m not seeing their conflict there.

    Also their Website says their Illiana representation has been on behalf of Sierra Club, OpenLands and Midewin Heritage Association, whatever that is.

  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 18, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    Shouldn’t policy choices about rail travel vs. highways be made by policymakers in legislatures and agencies, not in courtrooms by judges? Why does ELPC think using the courts to impose their policy choices is a good thing?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Tonight's must-read
* Tribune to put tower up for sale
* They say that like it's a bad thing
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Point taken. However...
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Byrd-Bennett indicted by the feds
* Yikes, man
* The Credit Union Difference
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Kotowski bash, event list
* Question of the day
* Dimas: "There's a chance we will have to introduce the FY17 budget before we have an FY16 budget"
* Unclear on the concept
* Rhetoric vs. reality
* Supremes snub Illinois Policy Institute appeal
* Aren't we forgetting something?
* True, but...
* Things are tense all over
* Unclear on the concept
* Rep. Leitch won't run again
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a Golar replacement update from AlderTrack
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Google Play Promo: EA and Chillingo games for very, very cheap (but for limited regions)
* SIM-free iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus now available from Apple
* PSA: Skype is giving you 20 minutes of free calls to compensate for its recent outage
* AT&T’s 18.4-inch Samsung Galaxy View sighted on FCC
* Sony updates TrackID with new lyric search functionality
* Google Street View updated with support for Cardboard
* OnePlus Mini may come at India event next week

* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll
* Hawk Harrelson's reduced schedule creates opportunity for White Sox...
* Holliday, Ventura connection goes way back
* 2015 in 3 words: Sale, Abreu, inconsistency


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in .....
* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without .....
* Dems warn state could go broke without budget -.....
* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without .....
* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without .....

* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without state budget
* Tribune Media considering sale of landmarked headquarters
* EPA pushes for 'smart thermostats' as way to limit pollution
* Chicago cab driver group calls for 24-hour strike
* Indiana man chose as 1st national Pig Farmer of Year
* 2 Illinois congressmen heading to Cuba on Sunday for ag trip
* EXCHANGE: Sudzy Bath and Biscuits in Anna caters to canines
* Group says interest in Chicago Halloween parade growing
* Impact of Chicago Marathon felt from now to Sunday event
* Chicago Democrats to meet to fill seat of late Rep. Golar

* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* Rauner to Democrats: 'Time's up' in budget impasse
* Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for 8 health conditions
* State Sen. McCarter to challenge Shimkus in Congressional primary
* Rauner increasing pressure on Democrats for budget deal

* O'Hare bonds avoid Chicago stain in city's biggest offering ever
* Tribune Media seeks to sell Trib Tower
* Trib Tower for sale
* A champion of women's issues who loves board games
* Cafe Spiaggia got a makeover. Did it need one?

* Charity raffling off Blackhawks Stanley Cup ring
* Sweet: Emanuel says House GOP needs to work through ‘some issues’
* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without state budget
* Obama returns to Chicago on Oct. 27 for fundraising
* Aldermen complain about ‘menu’ price hikes
* Charges come at rocky time for CPS
* Patrick Kane feels ‘really good’ as he hits the road
* Viktor Svedberg to get his chance on blue line
* Aldermen vent frustrations about city’s losing battle against homelessness
* Blackhawks mailbag: Crawford, Teravainen, Dano and more

* 1 arrested in fatal shooting of civilian worker for Chicago police
* Motorcyclist killed after hitting deer on I-94, being hit by truck
* Supporters of Woodlawn church gutted by fire start fundraising for restoration
* 1 dead, 4 wounded in separate city shootings
* Former Chicago Public Schools chief to plead guilty to bribery scheme
* NIU evacuated, classes canceled following 'bogus' bomb threats to colleges
* Police: Wrigleyville celebrations relatively calm; 9 misdemeanor arrests
* 1 treated following high CO levels at West Side apartment building
* Smart thermostat program could cut energy bills
* New judge to be assigned to second Soderquist case

* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* George Will: Impeach the IRS director
* Eugene Robinson: Obama is right to be cautious on Syria
* Elizabeth Austin: 'Lawsuit climate' no obstacle to business success

* UPDATE: Heavy police presence at Paxton standoff
* UI Men's Basketball Media Day 2015
* Opposing viewpoint: Iowa QB C.J. Beathard
* Illini roundup: Soccer team secures tie
* Big Ten football update: Illini slip into bowl scene
* Thursday's highlights: Danville wins on, off pitch
* Richey's observations from women's hoops media day
* Volleyball team returns to Huff
* Tate: Two sides for hoops storylines
* Seymour man sentenced in connection with puppy's death

* Officials: NIU classes expected to resume Friday after bomb threat
* Officials: Bomb threat causes evacuation at NIU
* Vigil remembers slain man on 21st birthday in Elgin
* In St. Louis some fans worry; others say bring it on
* Suburban business leaders get taste of DuPage hospitality at expo

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* US Sen. Dick Durbin introduces bill to mak......
* Durbin Proposes Legislation To Lower Textb......

* 2 US senators seek to declare a Fil-Am his......

* #TBT: 4400 Block Of Broadway
* Tribune Tower to join Wrigley Building as not being the same once sold off
* This Is The End...
* Rauner points to 70 Illinois Democrats supported collective bargaining changes
* Rauner points to 70 Illinois Democrats that supported collective bargaining changes
* Dixon police draw criticism over "Gotcha" crime prevention program
* Where's Weyermuller? At Wheeling Township GOP Women's 2015 Luncheon
* Police Chief McCarthy says "There's no magic solution" to ending Chicago violence
* REbarcamp gives Illinois REALTORS 10 ways to learn more from each other
* Peoria's Leitch Won't Seek Re-Election

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller