Will County residents delivered close to 13,000 petitions to state offices on Wednesday calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to drop plans for the Illiana Tollway.
Those against the proposed expressway call it a boondoggle that will cost taxpayers money and farmland, while adversely affecting those who live near the designated area for the would-be tollway.
"When this process began we worried that we were alone, but the overwhelming response to this petition drive from taxpayers across the state lets me know that we have a chance to stop this boondoggle before it goes any further," said Virginia Hamann, who lives close to the proposed expressway and spearheads the organization No Illiana 4 Us.
Hamann's group rounded up some 4,500 petition signatures, while other organizations including Sierra Club, Openlands, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Active Transportation Alliance and Illinois PIRG collected thousands more, amounting to a collective total of 12,856 signatures from all the participating parties.
The proposed tollway is expected to cost $1.1 billion, according to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Last month, Rauner issued an executive order putting a stop to progress on the public-private partnership until a cost-benefit analysis is done on the proposed 47-mile tollway, which would connect Illinois' I-55 to Indiana's I-65.