The state is pretty much broke, and the Illiana’s companion project — a third Chicago-area airport — is going nowhere soon in this economy.

The Illiana would cost $1.5 billion to build and could cost taxpayers another $1.1 billion in subsidies over 35 years. Traffic would be light because the tolls would be high. It would pave over 3,000 acres of farmland and threaten the 19,000-acre Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

With all the talk of belt-tightening in Springfield, you’d think someone would bury the Illiana proposal under a load of road concrete. But there it was again just last week — allotted $118 million in planning costs — in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s new highway plan. Opponents worry that full funding could show up on any last-minute capital spending plan that emerges as part of a budget deal in the Legislature.

On Friday, the Illinois Department of Transportation wrapped up a 39-meeting “infrastructure listening tour” that appeared designed to build up support for a capital bill. Spending money on basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges makes sense, but any new capital bill should be limited to projects on which there is a broad consensus. That would not be the Illiana. Last year, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group put the Illiana on its “Highway Boondoggles” list.

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