A quick look at Wednesday’s Illiana hearing


Peotone-area dairy farmer Virginia Hamann, a member of the No Illiana 4 Us group, [left] talks with residents affected by the proposed 47-mile toll way prior to Wednesday evening’s public hearing at the International Union of Operating Engineers’ training facility near Wilmington. Photo credit: Dennis Sullivan

by Dennis Sullivan
Feb. 21, 2014

Approximately 300 persons attended Wednesday’s public hearing on the proposed Illiana Tollway, which would link Interstate 55 near Wilmington with Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind. It would run in Illinois near the Will-Kankakee county border.

The Illinois Department of Transportation event at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 training center near Wilmington came one day after a similar hearing in Lowell by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The location drew fire from S.T.A.N.D. member George Ochsenfeld, speaking as a Monee resident during the hearing.

“Having this meeting at the Local 150 Operating Engineers’ facility skews participation,” Ochsenfeld said during his testimony, “since the union members, who have a financial interest in building the Illiana, will be more comfortable and likely to attend than other citizens who (a) are unfamiliar with the location and (b) may feel intimidated.”

Gregory Tejeda, writing for the Times of Northwest Indiana, reported that the “details are becoming more clear these days as officials from Illinois and Indiana show the proposed route – and how it will interact with surrounding roads and area wildlife.” Tejeda also addressed which north-south roads in Will County would be closed.

Susan DeMar Lafferty, writing for the SouthtownStar & Sun-Times, said, “Opponents far outnumbered supporters at the hearing. Those whose property lies in the path of the toll way talked with staff from the Illinois Department of Transportation, while others perused detailed maps of the preferred route, interchanges and closed roads. Many questioned the need for the 47-mile highway.” Lafferty also addressed affected property owners’ perspectives.

Other coverage not found

Ann Baskerville covered for the Will County News (unaffiliated with Eastern Will County News,)  but we couldn’t find her story online at the time of this posting.

Lee Provost covered for the Kankakee Daily Journal, but we couldn’t find his story online at the time of this posting.

The Chicago Tribune also sent a reporter, but we couldn’t find his story online at the time of this posting.

If the Joliet Herald-News (the official newspaper of record in Will County) sent anyone, we couldn’t find the story online at the time of this posting.

Here’s a link to IDOT’s Illiana Website.

Original material copyright 2014 Eastern Will County News; all rights reserved.


2 comments on “A quick look at Wednesday’s Illiana hearing

  1. Is there any way to see the layout of the areas that will be affected by this new highway? Is it available online?

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