WASHINGTON--The controversial "Prairie Parkway" is off the table for now, a victory for west suburban anti-sprawl forces.
In 2005, former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) stuffed a $207 million earmark in a federal highway bill to help pay for the road, estimated to cost $1 billion to build. The 37-mile highway would roll through Kane and Kendall Counties, linking I-80 and I-88, the Reagan Memorial Tollway.
Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), who replaced Hastert, said Wednesday there is "a near consensus in the area," that "the first priority for money being spent on roads is probably not in that (Prairie Parkway) corridor but rather beefing up the existing north south corridors and so on."
Since the earmark money was never spent, Foster wants to try to "reprogram" the money for other projects. Congress would have to approve, "which is normally not done, but there may be a strong enough consensus to make that happen," Foster said.