Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cutting Corners Around the Route 53 Extension

Historic site of the Checkers Speech. Like a bad penny, the Route 53 Extension keeps coming back. More precisely, like 287 billion bad pennies. The Daily Herald is now reporting that ...
The costs of innovations associated with the proposed Route 53 extension north into Lake County will be examined for possible savings, but environmental protection will remain a top concern, officials said Monday during a recap of the $2.87 billion project. Leaders of a finance committee advising state tollway officials on ways to fund the Illinois Route 53/120 project said the agreement among varied interests to proceed hinges on that being the case.
Panel to study potential Route 53 cost savings
Translation: it's going to take some creative accounting to do a Route 53 Extension. Haha, the highway that everyone wants but no one wants to pay for will have to be built on the cheap.

Most of its prohibitive expenses were added to the highway's budget to mollify environmental concerns -- noise, pollution, habitat, open space, etc. So despite the assurances of Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor and others, it is unclear where budgetary fat can be trimmed without harming the environment.  One undistinguished member of the Illinois Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council told your LakeCountyEye: "I'll be in my Florida houseboat, sitting on my big Blue Ribbon Advisory Council pension, before we scrape together enough money to build this asphalt albatross."

Until then, your LakeCountyEye has learned, expect the Route 53 Extension to see more cutbacks than Lombard Street does in San Francisco. At least 10 of them:
Ten Route 53 Extension
Cost Cutting Measures Under Consideration
  1. End Construction at Checker Rd

  2. Staff the Tollbooths with Non-Union Cyborgs

  3. Kickstarter

  4. Pay-Toilets in All the Oases

  5. Two Words: Mob Cement

  6. Dip into the Lake County Election Commission Trust Fund

  7. This Worked for Six Flags: Build it with Wood

  8. Lease Out the Fracking Rights on the Right-of-Way

  9. Get Bruce Rauner to Pay for It

  10. Seriously, Who Needs Northbound Lanes?
Look for your LakeCountyEye on a Route 53 Extension billboard near you.

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