Well, it has finally become a reality. The bureaucrats have decided to give the Elgin/O'Hare Expressway to the toll authority. By what right do they do this? The road was built with federal and state gasoline tax funds; our -- the taxpayers' -- money. The toll authority is not owned by taxpayers but by private bondholders. These people will now profit by receiving a several-billion-dollar gift from the taxpayers. We will now pay to drive on a highway that we paid to build.
I understand Route 53 will similarly become a toll road. If the toll people want these highways, make them pay for them. Then use the money to improve the state highway system.
Ever since the toll system was put in place there have been very few real highway improvements in northern Illinois. If you want to go to Rockford you have two choices; the tollway or Route 20. The latter was, is and will remain a joke. It is essentially the same as it was when it was built 100 years ago; a winding twisting narrow road that runs through a long list of towns.
If you want to drive to Milwaukee, you again have few choices; a toll road in Illinois connected to a great freeway in Wisconsin or a string of rinky-dink roads in Illinois that connect to the freeway at the state line. Route 12 was supposed to be improved and connect with a freeway in Wisconsin going to Madison. Illinois had no intention of improving its end of it.
These highways will never be improved because they would take business away from the Toll Authority. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan and most Western states do not have toll roads. Is Illinois a great state or what? What's next, the Eisenhower or Kennedy freeways?
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