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Plans Called Off For Prairie Highway In Kendall County

(Credit: CBS)

(Credit: CBS)

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YORKVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — The plug has been pulled on a $1 billion highway project to connect I-88 to I-80 in the far western suburbs.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports, the Prairie Parkway was to be about 37 miles long, cutting through Kendall County.

It was known colloquially as the Hastert Highway, because it was championed by former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), in whose home district the parkway would have built.

But citizen and environmental groups filed a lawsuit, complaining that the highway would destroy thousands of acres of farmland.

The federal government has now withdrawn approval of the project.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will shift federal funds toward improvements on Illinois Route 47 and U.S. 34.

Environmental Law and Policy Center Executive Director Howard Learner says those improvements are “a better and affordable transportation solution” in the area.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)