Monday, August 3, 2015

We Don't Need No Stinkin Amstutz

"We're on a mission from God." If the Amstutz Expressway were a 36 inch pizza then the long knives would be out for it. A News-Sun op-ed published last week was really a thinly veiled call for the Amstutz's demise:
There's nothing about the 2.9-mile abomination and its social, financial, aesthetic or cultural contribution to Waukegan that could not be improved by unleashing jackhammers to destroy it.
Rutter: Waukegan's Amstutz Expressway is a 'massive purple wart'
Is the Amstutz on the road to oblivion? Your LakeCountyEye asked Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi -- the Travelling Professor at the College of Lake County.

"Ya," sighed Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi "they want to bulldoze the Amstutz into Lake Michigan like it was some empty beach and turn it into high-value lakefront property."

Too sad. Who exactly would feel the burden?

"No one ever uses the road, so exactly no one." said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "And that's exactly why the Amstutz is America's highway. Every movie chase scene since Ben-Hur has been filmed on the Amstutz."


"Bullitt, The French Connection, Smokey and the Bandit, Thelma & Louise, Mad Max, Death Race 2000, Driving Miss Daisy ... these were all filmed on the Amstutz. It's the most recognizable 2.9 mile stretch of highway in the lower 48!"

Too cool. Are there plans to save the Amstutz?

"Bet on it." replied Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "Do you remember the Route 53 Extension?"

Who can forget?

"The Route 53 Extension," continued Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi "is a $3 billion, unbuilt highway that everybody wants but nobody wants to pay for. Compare it with the Amstutz -- a highway that is built and paid-for, but nobody wants. Now combine the two and what do you get?"

One of those venn diagram jokes?

Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi pulled up close: "The Route 53 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council has a top-secret fail-safe doomsday-scenario contingency plan prepared, in case the taxpayers don't give them those 3 billion smackers. Just suppose one moonless night the Lake County Division of Transportation shuts down the Amstutz -- and removes all of the highway signs. And replaces them with Route 53 Extension highway signs. What will everyone think the next morning?"

Your LakeCountyEye, being no Carnac the Magnificent, did not know.

"The commuters," chuckled Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, "will think the Amstutz had been demolished. And that the Route 53 Extension had finally been built! The County gets rid of the Amstutz, and produces a Route 53 Extension -- all for the price of a couple dozen traffic signs. It's a win-win for everyone."

Too crazy. Did Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi have any parting advice?

"Don't be surprised if the Amstutz turns, one day, into a $5 toll-road. Tell your Operatives to hold on to their pennies."

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