Tolls won't pay full freight for Illiana toll road

2013-10-12T00:00:00Z Tolls won't pay full freight for Illiana toll road nwitimes.com
October 12, 2013 12:00 am

Your editorials are becoming shriller and more desperate as agency after agency has come out strongly against the Illiana toll road. Unfortunately, that desperation seems to have fostered deception as well as ad hominum attacks by the Times editorial staff.

Perhaps your editorial board doesn't read its own paper. On Sept. 24 The Times reported Indiana and Illinois would seek independent financing for the portion of the roadway within each state. Indiana will use an "availability payment" model in which the state is responsible for guaranteed annual payments to the private investors even if not a single vehicle travels the toll road.

A recent Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning study shows under the best scenario the two states would have to subsidize tolls to the tune of $400 million to make the payments, and this could easily rise to $1.5 billion if the IDOT/INDOT projections prove overly optimistic.

Still, your editorial implies tolls will cover everything, and that simply isn't true. Recent analysis shows this road will do almost nothing to reduce traffic on the Borman Expressway and nothing to reduce current congestion in Lake County, Ind., and Will County.

Benefiting just a few special interests, it's time that this wrongheaded, taxpayer-funded boondoggle be stopped now.

- Bill Hathaway, Lowell

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