Save our businesses, our family farms and our unique environment. Online Petition!

The Citizens for Southernmost Illinois have serious concerns with the purpose, planning and development of I-66. The negative impacts simply outweigh any questionable benefits for the people who live and recreate here. We can’t afford to gamble away our remaining economic and natural resources. CSI is dedicated to promoting and protecting our rural lifestyle and the rich natural environment that is part of our home and livelihood.

Potential Impacts from
the Proposed Interstate 66

Government Waste: $4.5 million dollars just to study a feasible route. $3.6 million per mile to construct an Interstate highway.

Loss of Agricultural Land: Acquired through eminent domain, thousands of acres of quality farmland can be taken out of production and removed from the tax rolls. This will not only impact family farms and private land but could result in restricted drainage and increase flooding.

Drain to Local Economy: Business and jobs continue to be lost in the area and the addition of another interstate will add to this exodus. Local businesses owners have indicated that the proposed interstate will detrimentally impact their operation by taking potential customers away from the area.

Loss of Tourism: Interstate 66 will take tourism through the state instead promoting tourism to the state. Why stop in Southernmost Illinois when you can go on to the highly promoted Paducah, KY or Cape Girardeau, MO for cheap gas, shopping, gambling, or a nice dinner?

Incompatibility with Outdoor Recreation: The biologically rich and diverse environment of Southernmost Illinois has made it a destination with a reputation for high quality outdoor recreation experiences such as hunting, fishing, bird watching, canoeing, hiking, nature photography and much more. The environmental devastation resulting from yet another Interstate highway in this area will have dire consequences for the natural resource-based recreation and economy of the region.

10 Responses to Home

  1. Does anybody know what (if any) connections exist between planners of this potentially devastating road, and the oil and gas industry? Seems like it would be really convenient to the frackers!

  2. Rhonda Rothrock

    Southernmost IL is already criss-crossed with more interstate “corridors” than the surrounding states so this proposed road is totally unnecessary. The state should be focusing on fixing the state road infrastructure currently in bad need of repair and our bridges, several of which are in desperate shape, rather than dumping mega-bucks into this proposal. Regarding road conditions, I66 would not prevent road damage from heavy truck traffic because a goodly amount of our road truck traffic is from local trucking of coal to barges, rock to local projects, and similar trucking. This project seems very cost ineffective too. The feasibility study alone is costing 3.6 mill in fed tax dollars. With regard to the actual cost, a report from 2006 states that “The cost to construct one lane-mile of a typical 4-lane divided highway can range from $3.1 million to $9.1 million per lane-mile in rural areas depending on terrain type”. So by the time building on this road would start, the fed cost would be in the billions, IL residents would be responsible for 10% of the total cost in addition to our federal tax share. In addition to a 4-lane, it’s likely that a frontage road would parallel the 4-lanes because frontage roads are cheaper to build than exits/exchanges. So local folks that think a 4-lane will speed there way to Cape and Paducah would need to be situated next to an exit/exchange. Do they really want that in their front yard. And why would Illinoisans want to pay all that money just so travelers can get to Cape Girardeau or Paducah quicker? Traveler’s aren’t going to stop at rural exits in IL when they can drive on to those 2 bigger cities where they can get food, lodging, and cheeper gas all at one location. With regard to job making, it’s my understanding that since this would be a federal project, there’s no guarantee that the constructions jobs would go to companies in IL. With regard to new development, any new development is most likely to be at Cape & Paducah, absolutely no benefit of IL tax payers. Plus this road would also have the effect of cutting all those southernmost IL communities and farms in half. Local folks might save a few minutes getting to KY or MO (what I high cost to save little time) but it will take them longer to get to places closer to home on the other side of the interstate. When this coast to coast project was first suggested, back in 2001(?) it was to go straight from KY to MO. At that time IL government (Ryan) chose not to get IL involved. It appears the folks at Cape Girardeau didn’t want the road to bi-pass them to the south so they convinced governor Rod B. to jump on the boondoggle bandwagon. Since it was a fed project, IL could request to be included which Rod B. then did. But there is no real evidence that it will offer any economic benefit to Illinois.
    This is actually an interstate to no-where because several western states have opted out. Interstates just do not come thru with the benefits they are touted to bring. I57 did nothing for Cairo. It has taken nearly 50 years for development to pop up along I64 but that is only where large cities were already established, like Mt. Vernon and O’Fallon. If it weren’t for SIU, it’s reasonable to believe Marion’s I57 exit development would be 20-40 years behind where it is now.

  3. The Macomb bypass is coming in at 21 million per mile and that is simpler terrain. US 20 is moribund because it hit 25 million a mile. Don’t worry with no more federal earmarks this is going nowhere
    Its insane there are actually people that want 2 other southern Illinois projects IL 127 and US 50 combined they are less than 50 miles and use existing roads and they cant get money I cant believe this study even exists

  4. Barbara McDonough

    This is a dreadful plan. We already have the two highways running south through our beautiful forests. We don’t need another one going east and west as well. This would be a deadly blow to our natural areas that are the main draw in this part of the state. They would not recover from this plan — ever.

  5. fran Fredendall

    This proposed interstate 66 is a bad idea. Are the Republicans behind this one too !

    • I am happy to say I am a Republican, and I am not for this. Thank you very much!!!!

      • Hey folks, Jim brings up a good point. Let’s try to keep partisan politics or other forms of generalization that might alienate people out of the discussions and comments. We may not all agree on everything, but where we can agree, we need to stick together. Thanks everyone for your cooperation!

  6. This is just a horrible idea and needs to be stopped. We’ve already been carved up enough!

  7. another important point is to say that since 1-24 and 1-57 was built south of marion we note there are no factories or big warehouse districts on those exits; looks like 1-66 is not to be a boon to prosperity.

  8. We’ll be wall to wall concrete pretty soon…. and every reason for living here will be gone.

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