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Author Topic: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?  (Read 7514 times)

Rick Powell

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #75 on: October 29, 2021, 09:14:54 AM »

Illinois has a bit of a history of grandiose projects that turn out to be solutions in search of problems. Both the decades long efforts to build the third commercial airport near Peotone and the actual building of the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport fall into this category.

MidAmerica was once touted as a laughingstock of state airport development. It is now the 5th busiest commercial airport in the state, surpassing emplanements of airports like CIRA/Bloomington-Normal, Rockford International, U of I/Willard, and Abraham Lincoln/Springfield [And Chicago/Gary, which didn't have any commercial flights in 2020], and may get more usage with the Metro rail extension from Scott AFB to the Mid-America Terminal. Granted, it took a while to get off the ground :-)

As of now, there are only three cargo airports in the state worth mentioning; O'Hare, Rockford and Peoria. SSA will need to make the case that a fourth is needed, if freight is the direction it takes. 

Some projects never develop as planned, some take awhile to realize the full benefits, and some are a success (or over-successful) from day one.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2021, 09:17:21 AM by Rick Powell »
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edwaleni

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #76 on: October 29, 2021, 10:40:37 AM »

Illinois has a bit of a history of grandiose projects that turn out to be solutions in search of problems. Both the decades long efforts to build the third commercial airport near Peotone and the actual building of the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport fall into this category.

MidAmerica was once touted as a laughingstock of state airport development. It is now the 5th busiest commercial airport in the state, surpassing emplanements of airports like CIRA/Bloomington-Normal, Rockford International, U of I/Willard, and Abraham Lincoln/Springfield [And Chicago/Gary, which didn't have any commercial flights in 2020], and may get more usage with the Metro rail extension from Scott AFB to the Mid-America Terminal. Granted, it took a while to get off the ground :-)

As of now, there are only three cargo airports in the state worth mentioning; O'Hare, Rockford and Peoria. SSA will need to make the case that a fourth is needed, if freight is the direction it takes. 

Some projects never develop as planned, some take awhile to realize the full benefits, and some are a success (or over-successful) from day one.

I don't want to get too far off onto the shoulder here (do we have noise strips in a highway thread?)

Mid-America is currently in a much needed gate expansion. I think it has met its purpose. (but they charge for parking now, Rockford still doesn't)

As for the extension of Metro Rail, I want to be a proponent but I am now skeptical. I recently flew through Mid-America and they were out of rental cars. So I was going to jump on Metro Rail (Red Line) at Shiloh-Scott to go over to Lambert where more cars were available. The first Lambert station is just above the rental car shuttle lane. However, Metro said it was going to take 1.5 hours to reach Lambert because it stops at *every* station. No expresses.  A car with low traffic can traverse the 38 miles to Lambert in about 40 minutes. I would think (hope) that when the extension is done they can do an "airport express" where a Lambert-MidAmerica service would only make 2 stops downtown to pick up travelers and move on.
\
As for Peotone and freight, it will sit right along the I-80 corridor and next to the railroad logistics parks, I think it will be the perfect spot for a freight only airport. Chicago fights it because they fear it will drain off discount airlines from that antique called Midway. As long as there is no RTA expansion to Peotone, I think there fears are unfounded.

We discuss how bridges and highways are "functionally obsolete", that is my take on Midway. I have seen more close calls in that relic than I can shake a stick at.
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Revive 755

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #77 on: October 29, 2021, 10:28:20 PM »

^ Metro Rail?  When did the name change from Metrolink?
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edwaleni

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #78 on: October 29, 2021, 11:50:12 PM »

^ Metro Rail?  When did the name change from Metrolink?

Metro Rail = MetroLink

My error.

MetroBus

MetroTransit

and the parent name = Metro.

I think we have it covered now.
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mukade

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #79 on: October 30, 2021, 04:39:09 PM »

Illinois has a bit of a history of grandiose projects that turn out to be solutions in search of problems. Both the decades long efforts to build the third commercial airport near Peotone and the actual building of the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport fall into this category.

MidAmerica was once touted as a laughingstock of state airport development. It is now the 5th busiest commercial airport in the state, surpassing emplanements of airports like CIRA/Bloomington-Normal, Rockford International, U of I/Willard, and Abraham Lincoln/Springfield [And Chicago/Gary, which didn't have any commercial flights in 2020], and may get more usage with the Metro rail extension from Scott AFB to the Mid-America Terminal. Granted, it took a while to get off the ground :-)

As of now, there are only three cargo airports in the state worth mentioning; O'Hare, Rockford and Peoria. SSA will need to make the case that a fourth is needed, if freight is the direction it takes. 

Some projects never develop as planned, some take awhile to realize the full benefits, and some are a success (or over-successful) from day one.

While there are now some year around and seasonal Allegiant flights into Mid-America Airport, let's keep things in perspective. The most recent numbers I saw for enplanements there was 152,000 a year which is less than 1% of what St. Louis Lambert gets. They also throw out the number of 302,000 total passengers, but I think that number includes those passengers that are on planes that land there, but do not disembark (i.e. they never enter the terminal building).  So it is confusing, but even if 302,000 passengers actually went through the terminal in a year, it would be less than 2% of what Lambert has. The Mid-America facility cost over $321 to build, and essentially sat empty for 17 years so it drained even more taxpayer money every year including up to the current year. That is not success, and that most certainly does fall into the category of a solution that was looking for a problem.
 
So my point is that any expensive road projects as this thread is about need to be justified based on actual need rather than speculation.
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cwm1276

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #80 on: October 30, 2021, 05:37:22 PM »

Parking has not been free at the Rockford airport for a couple years ago. 

They have become quite the cargo operation. 
Amazon had a 747 sitting there this morning, 1 of 7 planes on the ground at Amazon.  Of course most of UPS's operations are overnight so it is harder to drive by and see their activity, but they typically have 2 or 3 planes on their ramp.

They are working building the next cargo building now.

Rockford is becoming that Chicago freight airport already.
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I-39

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #81 on: October 30, 2021, 06:12:00 PM »

Illinois has a bit of a history of grandiose projects that turn out to be solutions in search of problems. Both the decades long efforts to build the third commercial airport near Peotone and the actual building of the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport fall into this category.

MidAmerica was once touted as a laughingstock of state airport development. It is now the 5th busiest commercial airport in the state, surpassing emplanements of airports like CIRA/Bloomington-Normal, Rockford International, U of I/Willard, and Abraham Lincoln/Springfield [And Chicago/Gary, which didn't have any commercial flights in 2020], and may get more usage with the Metro rail extension from Scott AFB to the Mid-America Terminal. Granted, it took a while to get off the ground :-)

As of now, there are only three cargo airports in the state worth mentioning; O'Hare, Rockford and Peoria. SSA will need to make the case that a fourth is needed, if freight is the direction it takes. 

Some projects never develop as planned, some take awhile to realize the full benefits, and some are a success (or over-successful) from day one.

While there are now some year around and seasonal Allegiant flights into Mid-America Airport, let's keep things in perspective. The most recent numbers I saw for enplanements there was 152,000 a year which is less than 1% of what St. Louis Lambert gets. They also throw out the number of 302,000 total passengers, but I think that number includes those passengers that are on planes that land there, but do not disembark (i.e. they never enter the terminal building).  So it is confusing, but even if 302,000 passengers actually went through the terminal in a year, it would be less than 2% of what Lambert has. The Mid-America facility cost over $321 to build, and essentially sat empty for 17 years so it drained even more taxpayer money every year including up to the current year. That is not success, and that most certainly does fall into the category of a solution that was looking for a problem.
 
So my point is that any expensive road projects as this thread is about need to be justified based on actual need rather than speculation.

Exactly. It might be busier now than when it first opened, but Mid-America is no where close to being where it was projected to be. It was meant to be a reliever for St. Louis Lambert Airport, but that need ended the minute TWA went bankrupt. Allegiant could easily be accommodated at Lambert, there is no need for Mid-America.

Likewise, the SSA just needs to be canceled already. There is ZERO need there. O’Hare, with its new runways, is no where close to being maxed out, both passenger and cargo. They need to focus on rebuilding the terminals at O’Hare and expanding cargo at Rockford and Gary/Chicago.
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silverback1065

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #82 on: November 23, 2021, 09:45:37 PM »

reading this thread makes me think the stereotype is true, everyone in the midwest that doesn't live in chicago, hates chicago  :-D
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cabiness42

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #83 on: November 23, 2021, 10:14:08 PM »

reading this thread makes me think the stereotype is true, everyone in the midwest that doesn't live in chicago, hates chicago  :-D

The Midwest as a whole is predominantly rural, dotted by lots of small cities and occasional mid-sized cities. The Midwest is also much more homogeneous than other parts of the country. If kids grow up and never visit Chicago (or any other big city) as a kid, I imagine it could be very overwhelming when visiting for the first time as an adult, so it can get a bad rap for that reason.

I was fortunate to have parents that liked to travel a lot, and specifically liked traveling to sporting events, so I'd been to Chicago over a dozen times before age 18. By the time I was an adult, I was as comfortable driving to Chicago as I was to the next town over from where I lived.
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Brandon

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #84 on: November 24, 2021, 05:47:55 AM »

reading this thread makes me think the stereotype is true, everyone in the midwest that doesn't live in chicago, hates chicago  :-D

I find it has a lot more to do with the attitudes of those inside the Tri-State though, than those outside.  You have a lot of Chicagoans who never or rarely leave the city and never see a reason to visit the rest of the Midwest.
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US20IL64

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #85 on: November 24, 2021, 10:52:57 AM »

OTOH, lots of 'regional' folks have vacation homes in WI and MI. And, many Midwesterners like to visit Downtown, Michigan Av, Lincoln Park, and museums. Not so 'absolute'.
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edwaleni

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #86 on: November 24, 2021, 10:56:59 AM »

reading this thread makes me think the stereotype is true, everyone in the midwest that doesn't live in chicago, hates chicago  :-D

The Midwest as a whole is predominantly rural, dotted by lots of small cities and occasional mid-sized cities. The Midwest is also much more homogeneous than other parts of the country. If kids grow up and never visit Chicago (or any other big city) as a kid, I imagine it could be very overwhelming when visiting for the first time as an adult, so it can get a bad rap for that reason.

I was fortunate to have parents that liked to travel a lot, and specifically liked traveling to sporting events, so I'd been to Chicago over a dozen times before age 18. By the time I was an adult, I was as comfortable driving to Chicago as I was to the next town over from where I lived.

Same here.

When I moved to the Chicago area at age 14, I had been into the city more than my entire grade combined. And they only lived 25 miles away.

As for this thread subject:

User 3467  reported there was some noise this week (as reported in the Daily Southtown) by south suburban legislators on the delays on the SSA and its associated highways. @3467 also reported that they want the work on the Illiana to be  resumed as well.

Daily Southtown is behind the Chicago Tribune paywall now, but it was also covered in a newsfeed service out of Springfield.

If someone can find a good link to the story, please post.
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edwaleni

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #87 on: November 24, 2021, 11:00:08 AM »

reading this thread makes me think the stereotype is true, everyone in the midwest that doesn't live in chicago, hates chicago  :-D

I find it has a lot more to do with the attitudes of those inside the Tri-State though, than those outside.  You have a lot of Chicagoans who never or rarely leave the city and never see a reason to visit the rest of the Midwest.

When I worked in Chicago, many of my co-workers who lived in the city didn't own cars. They took the CTA to O'Hare and never had a reason to visit outside the city limits.

My employer at the time had their own rental car pool, so if employees had to go out to a suburban office, they simply checked one out.

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3467

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2021, 05:58:53 PM »

Yes this is a good thread. Please do post it. It seems the Illiana and airport might be alive.
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edwaleni

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #89 on: November 25, 2021, 12:43:55 AM »

https://capitolfax.com/2021/11/22/after-stinging-letter-from-legislators-pritzker-administration-finally-attends-meeting-on-south-suburban-airport/

After stinging letter from legislators, Pritzker administration finally attends meeting on south suburban airport
Monday, Nov 22, 2021


* Ted Slowik…

South suburban economic development boosters met Thursday with state officials for the first time in three years to discuss the proposed South Suburban Airport near Peotone, an official said Friday.

State lawmakers who represent the region likely prompted the meeting by sending a letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, said Rick Bryant, an aide to U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson. […]

The congressional aide said he informed state officials that Amazon and others are using the Rockford airport as a cargo hub but eyeing an airport in Gary, Indiana, because it is closer to Chicago-area distribution centers, Bryant said. […]

Gary’s airport is landlocked and cannot expand beyond a single runway, Bryant said. Amazon and others would prefer a site with multiple runways that is not already congested with commercial air traffic, he said.

“In the long term we have a better site,” Bryant said. “In the short term Gary has the upper hand.”

* That letter was quite something…

As representatives of the Chicago Southland, we are disappointed by your Administration’s steadfast opposition to a proposed South Suburban Airport, which is potentially one of the largest commercial developments to locate in Illinois in decades.

We know this because your Administration:

1) Hired consultants to find alternative uses for the selected airport site;
2) Eliminated Phase I Engineering for a proposed airport interchange from IDOT’s five-year plan (rendering a budgeted $162 million line-item for constructing that interchange essentially meaningless);
3) Refused meeting with private developers interested in financing the project;
4) Refused meeting with regional leadership to discuss next steps;
5) Sat idly as UPS expanded its Rockford air cargo hub across the state line to Gary Airport; and
6) Sat idly as Amazon built new air cargo hubs in many Midwestern states - but not Illinois.
For thirty-five years, Illinois governor after Illinois governor, FAA administrator after FAA administrator, aviation/economic impact study after aviation/economic impact study have concluded that Metro Chicago needs a third major airport to handle future capacity demands. Studies also conclude the ideal location for that airport is the FAA-approved site near Monee.

The Southland is blessed with the nation’s busiest network of road and rail infrastructure. A new airport would be essential to an innovative, world-class, multi-modal, mega e-commerce cluster. As longtime Southland residents, we’ve witnessed our region overlooked. We will no longer stand idly by for any Governor who does not make improving the economic quality of life in our region a top priority.

Thus, we write to respectfully ask your Administration to immediately:

1) Begin Phase I Engineering on the proposed airport interchange on I-57 at mile­ marker 332;
2) Complete land acquisition with funds already appropriated by the General Assembly;
3) Refresh the Environment Impact Study;
4) Complete the final airport “master plan” and seek a Record of Decision from the FAA.
Finally, there is great private-sector interest in the airport, thus, we urge the State to draft a master development agreement and solicit bids from private companies willing to finance, construct, maintain and operate the airport on State-owned land.

The Southland, with our extraordinary transportation assets, has the potential to be a model 21st Century e-commerce hub that could be the envy of the nation. But that will only happen if the State defines its role and demonstrates its commitment to lead a public-private partnership.

We thank you for your time and remain eager to work with your Administration on this ambitious, overdue, innovative investment in Illinois’ near- and long-term future.

The letter was signed by Sen. Michael Hastings and Reps. Will Davis and Kelly Burke.

Gov. Pritzker has focused quite a lot of attention on the Rockford airport. And south suburban types are upset at his lack of focus on their region on numerous other issues as well, including things like the Illiana Expressway and water issues within the inner ring suburbs like Dixmoor.

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Brandon

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2021, 05:12:20 AM »

JB is rather typical for his type, a north side Chicagoan.  He never thinks nor sees past 87th Street.
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silverback1065

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2021, 01:27:34 PM »

I follow the sterotype  :-D . Anyway i drove 355 for the 1st time, good interstate and great bypass, may need a 4th lane some day. 294 is nice but it's under construction for like 5 million miles. i see everyones point about the ending. I think it should go south of 80 and tie into 65, that would take off so much pressure from 80. I also think it is stupid 53 doesn't go up and tie into 94 near the state line. that whole part of the metro area is a mess in terms of good freeways.
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edwaleni

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #92 on: November 26, 2021, 11:06:09 AM »

I follow the sterotype  :-D . Anyway i drove 355 for the 1st time, good interstate and great bypass, may need a 4th lane some day. 294 is nice but it's under construction for like 5 million miles. i see everyones point about the ending. I think it should go south of 80 and tie into 65, that would take off so much pressure from 80. I also think it is stupid 53 doesn't go up and tie into 94 near the state line. that whole part of the metro area is a mess in terms of good freeways.

99.999% of the contributors on this site would agree with your assessment of IL-53. So much so, any news on it generates about a 300% response in return.

I drove I-355 when it first opened for those "free days" with just 2 lanes each way and even then I said, this is going to need a third lane asap.

Unfortunately there is a very vocal "anti-sprawl" voice in Illinois politics and the first thing they go after is highways.

Even though the sprawl occurred in Lake County even though the road didn't even exist, they persist.

So it was with any extensions into Will County. The anti-road crowd instantly assumed that the world would follow the road.

The county is still growing, and there is no road. It's a fallacy that keeps getting perpetuated.
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US20IL64

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Re: Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2021, 11:14:01 AM »

I follow the sterotype  :-D . Anyway i drove 355 for the 1st time, good interstate and great bypass, may need a 4th lane some day. 294 is nice but it's under construction for like 5 million miles. i see everyones point about the ending. I think it should go south of 80 and tie into 65, that would take off so much pressure from 80. I also think it is stupid 53 doesn't go up and tie into 94 near the state line. that whole part of the metro area is a mess in terms of good freeways.

99.999% of the contributors on this site would agree with your assessment of IL-53. So much so, any news on it generates about a 300% response in return.

I drove I-355 when it first opened for those "free days" with just 2 lanes each way and even then I said, this is going to need a third lane asap.

Unfortunately there is a very vocal "anti-sprawl" voice in Illinois politics and the first thing they go after is highways.

Even though the sprawl occurred in Lake County even though the road didn't even exist, they persist.

So it was with any extensions into Will County. The anti-road crowd instantly assumed that the world would follow the road.

The county is still growing, and there is no road. It's a fallacy that keeps getting perpetuated.

The north 53 extension was on its way about 10-20 years ago, but town of Long Grove and some others stopped it. Upper class $$$ folks can do that. Meanwhile middle class people sit at red lights on US-12, etc. Who knows? Maybe future will get an at grade road?
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