30.10.07

INSUFFICIENT ALTERNATIVES. It appears as though all of the Illinois Tollway is going to be a work zone, providing additional lanes that will all too soon be just as crowded as the current lanes are.

"For the next three years, we'll be under construction everywhere," said Joelle McGinnis, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

And some people in Wisconsin will feel the crunch. There's only so much business that can be transacted via phones and computers. Sometimes, a worker has to get in a car for a face-to-face meeting with a client in Chicago or a firm needs to send trucks to move tons of supplies via the interstates. And there is plenty of cross-border commuting.

"There are a lot more people from Wisconsin coming down to Illinois for jobs," said Mary Tyrrell, a clinical researcher who for 17 years has made the 90-mile roundtrip commute from her home in Milwaukee to her job at Abbott in Chicago's northern suburbs. Tyrrell shares a van with five other Abbott employees - she's out the door before 6 a.m. and at her desk by 7 a.m.

Not difficult, as Abbott Park is just south of Great America, and the congestion isn't as bad on the north end of the Tri-State, yet.

But why not build a Gurnee stop for the Hiawatha as part of an upgrade to 110 mph operation?

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