(CBS) — Far north suburban Hawthorn Woods is asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to throw a roadblock in the latest path of the proposed Route 53 expansion through Lake County.
Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joseph Mancino wrote Rauner April 14, and has spoken with him since then, but still awaits an answer to his plea to halt planning on the controversial project until and unless the Illinois Toll Highway Authority board substitutes a route that avoids a sensitive wetland.
Currently, $100 million is set aside for needed studies, and Mancino said it will all be a waste if the wrong path is studied. It’s something he says the state cannot afford.
“To ask the state to spend $100 million for something on which there is no consensus is a big problem, and I think Gov. Rauner understands that very, very well,” Mancino said.
Mancino said Rauner made no promises when they spoke in Springfield, just that he looked forward to working with Mancino on the project, which has been on the drawing boards for 50 years.
Mancino said he wants the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council report at the very least changed to reflect an easterly route around the wetland, avoiding the erection of a bridge that he said would compromise the wetland and be an eyesore from the start. What he would prefer is that the committee start over again, reconstituted with representatives from the communities in the direct path of the toll extension represented.
The current Blue Ribbon committee does not include representatives from most of the communities in the path, he said.