If they keep driving nails into the coffin of the proposed Illiana Expressway, one day they’re going to have to bury it.
At least one would think so. But while the proposed expressway intended to link Illinois and Indiana has proved hard to kill, it is, at best, on life support.
The latest blow to this ill-conceived, unaffordable project came Tuesday when the Federal Highway Administration announced that it will not appeal a federal judge’s decision putting the plan on ice.
U.S. Judge Jorge Alonso ruled in June that environmental impact studies for the project were fatally flawed.
Alonso’s decision came about the same time that Gov. Bruce Rauner announced that the state did not intend to proceed on the Illiana because of “the state’s current fiscal crisis and a lack of sufficient capital resources.”
In addition to the lack of funds to build the Illiana, there was a distinct lack of need. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning estimated that too few motorists would use the Illiana by 2040 to meet the financial guarantees to the private developers, leaving taxpayers to make up the difference.
Because of that shortfall, the agency predicted the Illiana could end up costing taxpayers “from $440 million to $1 billion.”