Some great questions about that 90% hike of Illinois tolls

The Illinois Tollway Highway Authority is likely this week to approve a 90 percent increase in tolls for its Northeastern Illinois network of highways. This, of course, is nonsense because the reason for the increase is political payoff for suburban legislators that caved in to O'Hare Airport Expansion. They now can crow that got the completion of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and the airport "bypass road," but they can't duck the fact that their dealing will cost tollway users 90 percent more.

One of the opponents of the increase is Taxpayers United of America, which poses these great questions:

1) The Jane Addams Tollway is in poor condition, and we do not dispute that it needs repair. However, before we pay almost double in tolls, we want to know:

Has the resurfacing project going on since April 2011 been a complete waste of our money? Will resurfaced areas have to be ripped up in order to rebuild? Would it not be more cost-effective in the short run to complete the “quick fix” resurfacing and hold the rebuild for better economic times? Can we trust the Authority to spend the funds properly and to use a fair and transparent bidding process instead of paying more for well-connected contractors?

2) Why do we need the Elgin-O’Hare expansion? Until the western terminal of the airport is built, this is just a $3.6 billion (or as much as $4.3 billion) “Road to Nowhere”!

3) Why do we need to expand Route 53 for the “Illiana Expressway” when the Illiana does not yet exist?

Cal Skinner, a former state representative and conductor of the McHenry County blog also has an extremely pertinent question: "Why aren't Republicans bashing Quinn about his 88 percent toll tax hike proposal?"

Why indeed?



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  • Still more muddled headed thinking.

    As far as the Jane Addams (and probably the Ronald Reagan), everyone knows that asphalt lasts about 3 years. They have to completely redo it like the TriState, or like public authorities did with the Dan Ryan and 80-94. Maybe the concrete will last its rated 20 years. That on the Edens did (unfortunately,they put an asphalt layer on that last year).

    As I mentioned earlier, this proposal seems to be going ahead while the FAA is stopped. So, the two do not seem linked.

    The Elgin O'Hare would also serve industrial areas in the Elk Grove Village area. The bypass would get people who, say, want to get from the TriState NB to Arlington Heights away from the spaghetti bowl of congestion at the I-90, I-190 and I-294 interchange.

    If you are so worried about a highway to nowhere, did you protest the construction of the EOE from Hanover Park to Rohlwing Road, not even making it to I-290? That seems like it is going nowhere, but is usually congested at rush hour.

    You didn't mention the turnout in Lake County, where the people want Ill 53 extended as a tollway to the Grayslake area. Maybe that's why.

    As far as the Illiana Expressway, maybe you should read up.

    Finally, as I previously said, you can be like me and avoid the Tollway. There isn't tax revenue going into this. I'm sure you pay big tolls when you telecommute.

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