Elgin-O'Hare Expressway ain't goin' nowhere

elginohare.jpgThe expressway to Nowhere.
State Transportation and Toll Road officials are discussing how to
finish building the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway to Nowhere so that it
connects with the airport and nearby toll roads, according to the Daily Herald.

This I gotta see.

Where to put the confounded highway and how to pay for it have held
it up for decades, leading to the well-worn quote about how the
Elgin-O'Hare Expressway goes neither to O'Hare or Elgin.

Currently, the eastern leg ends in Itasca, about five miles short of
the airport, and feeds into such congested arterials as Thorndale Ave.
and York Rd. The present terminus would be moved to the east to connect
with a new airport by-pass road that supposedly will be built on the
airport itself. That by-pass road would connect somewhere with the
Tri-State Tollway on the south and the Northwest Tollway on the north.

I cannot imagine a more financially and logistically challenged highway project.

Continue reading in the Chicago Daily Observer



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  • Since tolls doubled, the Tollway Authority has the money to spend on anything, including this. Also, they can bond out or lease the right to future tolls to be collected on that segment.* There is also the possibility of asking for TIGER money.**

    With regard to the logistics, there is a question what path it would take through the Wooddale-Bensonville area. However, the O'Hare expansion indicates that the powers that be have no hesitation to use eminent domain, although we don't have New York's Robert Moses, the king of the quick take. Remember, that's take first and pay later, not the other way around.

    *In tonight's news, it was stated that Indiana was looking for a private company to construct and operate the Illiana bypass (between I-65 and I-57 approximately from Crown Point to Peotone) as a toll road. While Mitch Daniels is ahead of the curve on these things, maybe Illinois will get the same message.

    **Such as the Illinois Tollway is doing for the I-57 interchange with the Tri-State, and their plan to turn over one of the newly constructed lanes to Pace, even though the Pace buses are now running empty, according to Richard Wronski.

  • Actually, I find the Elgin-O'Hare very convenient when going from Park Ridge to my cousin's home in Carol Stream. I suspect that's the reason it was built--it was probably a shortcut for some politician.

  • The real "Road to Nowhere" is the Amstutz Expressway, which runs parallel to and east of Sheridan Road in parts of North Chicago and Waukegan. Its main benefit is that the state can let film makers close it for a week to shoot things like Batmobile scenes and not actually disrupt traffic much.

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