Statement: Governor Rauner Kills the Illiana Boondoggle

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Statement of Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr

Illinois PIRG

“We applaud Governor Rauner for heeding the advice of thousands of Illinois residents who urged him to kill the wasteful Illiana expressway. Governor Rauner cited the ‘current fiscal crisis,’ but even in good fiscal times, the Illiana was an unjustified waste of taxpayer dollars.

Highway projects are notoriously hard to kill, so we need to examine how this boondoggle got as far as it did and take steps to make sure it is not resurrected in the future. We need to examine how the Illiana could get to the top of the state’s declared list of funding priorities, and what reforms are needed to prevent such hijackings of the transportation investment process in the future.”

Last fall, Illinois PIRG Education Fund included the Illiana in our list of the top highways boondoggles across the country. Last month we released a report debunking the myth that roads “pay for themselves.”