You're kidding; right? $64,000,000 to improve the Huntley interchange of I-90 and Route 47? This is part of the Illinois Tollway's $12 Billiion (that's BILLION - $12,000,000,000) fantasy that will probably get a green light on Thursday morning.
If construction workers and Tollway employees were taken out of the mix of people showing up at the series of hearings held by the Tollway folks, how many people want $12 Billion spent and how many were against it? We'll never hear those numbers. A handful of people, those on the Tollway Board, will decide on this huge capital program on Thursday. The last public hearings were held last night in Kane and Lake Counties.
If you want one final scream, go to Downers Grove.The Tollway Board meets ... well, let's see; just how hard should it be to find the date, time and location of Thursday's Board meeting on the Illinois Tollway website Go there and see if you can find it in less than five minutes!
Found it by going to the Site Map (top of homepage). Thursday's meeting will be August 25, 10:00AM, in the Tollway headquarters boardroom, 2700 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, Ill. The agenda indicates that "live feed Webcasting", but there is no information about where or how to access that.
Oh, back to Huntley. Of the $64,000,000 the Tollway, out of your $12,000,000,000 won't even be paying for 100% of the Huntley interchange. Where is the money coming from?
50% from the Tollway
25% from IDOT
10% from the Village of Huntley
8.5% from Kane County
6.5% from McHenry County
McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler got his 2¢'s worth in at Friday's night's hearing in Huntley. He said this interchange will create a "great economic engine for McHenry County now and when the economy picks up." That what McHenry County gets for its share of $4,160,000.
The Tollway's capital plan is like an avalanche sliding down a mountain. There is no way to stop it and no way to get out of the way.
When you drive on the Tollway, think of the Denver-Boulder (Colo.) Turnpike. Originally, it was a toll road. The promise there was that, when the bonds were paid, the tolls would go away. In 1952 the toll was $0.10. When the Turnpike was paid for, the toll booths were removed. Imagine that!