Tollway’s "Animal Farm" Approach to “Subjects”

We McHenry County “Subjects” of the Illinois Tollway barons have long been forced to labor in the fields while others got the benefits of our tolls on the long-since paid for Northwest Tollway.

We have one state highway with no access.

That’s Route 23.

We have another—Route 47—with access only from the east. (Yes, I know it is in Kane County, but most traffic originates in McHenry County.)

Want to drive to Rockford on a four-lane highway?

You have to take the back roads to Route 20 in Hampshire.

Tollway officials insist on a complete re-configuration of how Route 47 crosses the Tollway before western entrance and exists are built.

And a good chunk of local money is required.

Northwest Herald reporter David Fitzgerald wrote just this week that the Tollway expects “half of the $65.7 million interchange” to come from local funds.

The point of the story was that Huntley’s $5,000 a month lobbyist, Kim Morreale, had convinced the Tollway to pony up half of the cost.

But look what happened in Winnebago County.

I’ll quote just one sentence from Rockford Register-Star reporter Zack Creglow’s Thursday story:

“The $19.5 million project, paid with federal and state dollars, took about a year to construct.”

Anybody notice a disconnect between what is happening in McHenry County with Route 47 and what’s happening with the Route 173 exchange north of Rockford?

It’s obvious that the animals on the farm in McHenry County still walk on all fours, while those in Winnebago County stand upright.

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The photograph is of the Northwest Tollway looking west from Route 47, where looking is all one can do because of no westbound entrance.

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