Mt. Vernon Register-News

May 25, 2010

A Reader's View: How will expressway work affect Rend Lake?

MT. VERNON — Editor:

Your May 12 issue includes a lead article that tells us that Mayor Chesley desires to be included in Marion’s pork, alias STAR, bill. What is disturbing about the article is that “we have the proposed six-lane I57 which would run from Mt. Vernon to Marion.”

Between Mt. Vernon and Marion lies Rend Lake, and I57 cuts right across the lake. Adding two lanes to the expressway may seem like a great idea to those hope to reap fortunes from “developments,” but for the welfare of everyone depending on Rend Lake as a source of potable water, it is a dreadful idea. It is also unnecessary in terms of traffic load.

The State of Illinois is in serious financial difficulty, and for the foreseeable future, the widening of 40 miles of expressway should not be given any sort of consideration. Does IDOT know what such a project would cost? Does Mayor Chesley know? Does anyone care?

But most importantly, what will be done to protect Rend Lake and the quality of our water supply?

That is something everyone should care about.

Donald R. Fletcher

Mt. Vernon