I am writing in regard to the federal funding situation regarding the Prairie Parkway. It is my understanding that the amount of federal funding available to the Parkway will only be enough to build a segment of the freeway. The segment that is planned to be constructed first with the money currently available is between U.S. Route 30 and Illinois Route 71. This segment was chosen because $55 million of a total of $209 million is earmarked for an interchange at U.S. Route 34.
This segment of freeway poses a substantial threat to Big Rock Creek and its watershed. Big Rock Creek is one of only a very few Class A streams (as designated by the IDNR) in northeastern Illinois.
The purpose of the Prairie Parkway project is to alleviate congestion on current local roadways by providing an alternate thru-route between Interstate 88 and Interstate 80. Since federal funding is available for building only a short stretch of the Parkway at the present time, and that the building of that segment would do substantial harm to a sensitive, high-quality stream and watershed, and that the building of that segment would do little or nothing to improve the current transportation infrastructure of the region, I ask that you consider putting a hold on the project until such time that funding can be secured for the entire project.
It would be a shame to spend over $200 million in federal taxpayer’s money to build a freeway from rural Big Rock to rural Yorkville that would seriously damage the local environment while providing no benefits to the regional transportation infrastructure.
Thank you for your consideration.