Sunday, April 27, 2014

Illiana Expressway Lawsuit Letter to the Editor

Editor's Note: Any person or group wishing to submit a letter to the editor can email a letter to: willcountynews@gmail.  To read the lawsuit brought by Openlands and the Sierra Club against IDOT, Ann Schneider, the Board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the MPO Policy Committee, go here.

Dear Editor,
I wish to comment on the recent Lawsuit filed by ELPC, Openlands, Sierra Club against IDOT,
Ann Schneider, CMAP Board & MPO Policy Committee.

This is an AWESOME action & has been in question since the day of the MPO Policy Committee Meeting on Oct. 17, 2013 in Chicago.  Randy Blankenhorn from the CMAP Board questioned whom held the ultimate
legal clout, the CMAP Board or MPO Policy Committee, Randy argued at the meeting that the CMAP
Board had the ultimate say.  It was obvious being in the audience as well as speaking that the political
pressure in the room was stifling.

As a land/ property owner in the direct path of the Illiana I & my family & neighbors think that this is a
WONDERFUL development and pray that it puts this proposed project to rest.  The Illiana/IDOT/IDOT team
keep touting JOBS, JOBS, JOBS when in reality it will only produce 874 long term jobs.  My question is
that studies were not done properly to compile and report HOW MANY JOBS WILL BE LOST AS WELL
AS BUSINESS AFFECTED?  Since contrary to Ann Schneiders belief that this is VACANT land out here,
with the effect on the Food Chain in removing between 3300-6600 acres of Agricultural Land.  That is a
HUGE impact removing between 22.3 million & 44.6 million boxes of corn flakes per year.  Since the average yield in Will Co. Illinois is 178 bushels/acre and each bushel of corn produces 38 boxes of corn flakes.
The result of this in a drought year may result in no corn flakes or raising the cost to up to $10.00 a box.

You would think that EVERY TAXPAYER in the entire State of IL would be concerned about this project since
it is the 'Road to No Where' , which will resemble the White Elephant Airport in Mouscatau , IL down south.
The Illiana is NOTHING MORE than POLITICAL GERRYMANDERING since it is only be used to try to
achieve votes in my personal opinion.  Since anymore our elected officials ARE NOT public servants representing
the public and those that elected them to the position as public offices were meant to represent according to George Washington himself, INSTEAD our elected officials use our tax dollars NOT to the most fiscally responsible use but to create more debt for the public and voters whom elected them to serve.  

It truly saddens me that our ENTIRE COUNTRY GOVERNMENT has become so SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED
AND UNPROFESSIONAL.  Since when is it okay & such standard practice for government to steal & threaten its citizens with eminent domain and such disregard for AGRICULTURE, the business that feeds their families,neighbors, states, country & the World?  
 I truly hope that this and the first lawsuit filed put this project to rest so as the land/ property owners maypeacefully live their lives.

IDOT/ILLIANA/INDOT need to focus their energies on fixing their existing infrastructure especially Illinois since
on their last reportcard they received a D on their state roadways.  IDOT and the State of IL CANNOT & DO NOT take care of the roadways & infrustructure they have , Hell there are roadways in Will County alone that are in such deplorable dangerous conditions that someone will soon be killed just as happened on Rt. 45 several
years ago when it was in BAD shape and then and only then did IDOT do their job and repair the roadway that
had been in such deplorable/dangerous shape for quite some time as has been just to name 1 roadway Rt 52
east of Wilton Center.  

This project is wrong for so many reasons, the purpose & need is not justified those of us that live out in this
area are fully aware that the numbers reported to justify the need have been GROSSLY OVERINFLATED since
we see the daily traffic and it is no where near the numbers ILLIANA/IDOT/INDOT have used to show need for
this proposed road., The destruction of VALUABLE FARMLAND, endangered species both land & water, the
compromising of the A rated Kankakee River, the effect on Midewin, Abraham Lincoln National Cemetary,
Historic Route 66.  The destruction of numerous Farming Operations, to include their employees, numerous
home based business along the path.  The risk due to road closures to property/land owners Fire/ Police/Ambulance protection, school bus time increases as well as time added to the residents daily lives .  I could go on and on as to why this is a bad deal for every taxpayer in the state of Illinois but the local residents have been bringing up all of these points but it is NEVER properly reported.

One more thought on the lawsuit is that the CMAP Board's vote against the Illiana was the justified vote since the  Illiana CLEARLY VIOLATES THE GOTO 2040 PLAN that the CMAP Board , All the Conservation Groups, as well numerous communities & residents worked endless hours to create for the GOOD OF THE ENTIRE METROPOLITIAN AREA.

So how dare the MPO Policy Committee blatantly disregard the GOTO 2040 Plan & violate its principals and pass it ALL for the sake of political votes, which is my opinion of what took place in that room as I was there.
Of course unions are in support of ANY construction project to put members to work in tough times.  However, they could put huge numbers of union members to work if the State of IL would simply fix, maintain, repair, and upgrade the infrastructure they already have in place and has been let to disintegrate to DANGEROUS conditions.  You know when people you meet ask what state you are from in is TRULY embarrassing to tell them you are from Illinois, due to it being the most corrupt state in the union an award that is truly NOT anything to be proud of.


I pray & hope that our court system recognizes the obvious that CMAP Board has the legal decision and uphold the GOTO 2040 Plan as the Illiana Tollroad would violate & destroy the plan. 

 Virginia Hamann