Saturday, December 21, 2013

Highway of Dreams

Terra Nullius Lake County transportation planners all agree on two things. In the future automobiles will only be found in museums. And in the future they will still be trying to fund the Route 53 Extension.

Haha, the Lake County Division of Transportation's 2040 master plan does not anticipate phalanxes of motorists cruising up and down a Route 53 Extension. Instead, according to the News-Sun ...
"The big push here is to get people out of their cars," said Bruce Christensen, transportation coordinator. "There are people who would bike, if they had the facilities." But Christensen said the No. 1 item on their wish list is a gift from another agency: the state Route 53 extension from Lake Cook to Route 120 in the county's center, a project that the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority has discussed for decades. A new planning committee, of which Underwood is a member, is searching for ways to fund the idea that would include a bicycle path. But Christensen said he had seen plenty of such groups come and go. "I'm 67 years old, and they started reviewing the extension when I was in high school," he said.
Lake County 2040 transit plan steers away from cars
Translation: if you hold any hope of riding the Route 53 Extension in your lifetime, don't hold your breath.

The cost of the gold-plate super-highway is fast approaching $3 billion. The News-Sun says ...
Revised cost estimates for all 25 miles of a Route 53/120 extension in 2020 dollars now include a high-end figure of $2.87 billion, nearly $500 million more than a low-end estimate aired last year. New price ranges were revealed Tuesday, Dec. 3, at a finance committee meeting of the Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council (BRAC), the public/private panel that recommended construction of the roadway in June 2012.
New Illinois Route 53 roadwork estimates could reach $2.87 billion
One implausible contact from the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council told your LakeCountyEye that alternative funding sources are under consideration:
  • Cultivate medical marijuana on the median strip that divides the high-speed lanes.

  • Install video gambling machines in the toll booths.

  • License conceal carry owners to use highway signs for target practice.

  • Sell the Route 53 naming rights. Smirnoff, are you listening?
"Until we start getting some serious proposals," the contact told your LakeCountyEye "we might just as well hold a bake sale. By the way, our toll house cookies are second to none."

Please do not drop your cookies in a Route 53 toll basket.

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