Yes, we understand the construction industry wants to build things. Yes, it creates (temporary) jobs. But there is a cost.
The proposed Illiana tollway has kept this construction industry in jobs (studies and engineering) for about four years at a cost to the taxpayers at about $25 million. (That could feed some of our homeless in America)!
After sitting in all four PowerPoint presentations to sell the toll road, they have failed to prove a need for a toll road.
By their own studies, the road would reduce traffic on the Borman by only 2.4 percent.
At first we were told that it was about cross traffic; then later that was dismissed because information later proved there wasn't as much as anticipated. Then we were informed it was because of "truck traffic" from an intermodal facility in Wilmington, Ill. and Elwood, Ill. Elwood is suing the intermodal companies over a tax incentive financing deal that was supposed to net them profits; instead it is netting them losses, which means higher taxes and crowed local streets.
Last but not least, we were informed this tollway would feed the Peotone airport which has been dead in the water for about 30 years. They are trying to revive it.
Let's build Indiana!
Indiana state Sen. Rick Niemeyer introduced Senate Bill 585 to study the international airport at Gary, a Lake Michigan water port and a trauma center. This would bring permanent jobs to Indiana.
Other considerations, like South Shore services to Lowell and Valparaiso (right away, already in place) would relieve congestion from roads. Also, widening Ind. 10 to four lanes is already in place and would parallel the proposed tollway.
Why are we building a feeder road to Illinois? Remember, to fund this road, you have to prove need, not want. Keep money in Indiana!
- James A. Cizmar, Lowell