After 10 Years, Prairie Parkway Plan Is Finally Kaput
The Prairie Parkway — the controversial corridor that once was slated to connect I-80 to I-88 — is officially kaput following a public hearing marking the 10th anniversary of an order to restrict development in the corridor’s path.
The hearing, which took place back in November, was held “to receive comments from the public concerning the viability and feasibility of the protected corridor.”
The original project had been pushed by then House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who later was found to have made a $2 million profit from buying and selling land in the area of the proposed 37-mile-long, $1 billion Prairie Parkway.
The protected corridor was approved on Nov. 8, 2007, in accordance with the Illinois Highway Code for Corridor Protection.
Since 2007, property owners along the corridor in Kane, Kendall and Grundy counties had been restricted from developing their property, according to the Corridor Protection Statute, which IDOT calls “an important tool for responsible planning in areas of high growth because it allows the identification of future transportation facilities prior to costly and conflicting development of land.”
Included in the Illinois Highway Code is a requirement to hold a public hearing not more than 10 years after a corridor is established.
According to articles in the Daily Chronicle, the Morris Herald-News and The Beacon-News, IDOT in February gave the order to rescind the statute, and the order was filed in the Kendall County Clerk’s Office on March 5.
“The department made its intentions known at a public hearing held last fall,” IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell told the Herald-News. “Ever since the Federal Highway Administration withdrew its approval on the Prairie Parkway in 2012, the project has not been included in IDOT’s multiyear plans.”
Following that public hearing, IDOT abolished the protected corridor after it determined “that the construction of the road is no longer feasible.”
SOURCE: IDOT website, media reports