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Prairie Parkway Links and Divides

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Plans for a highway through far-west Chicagoland are renewing some long-standing controversies. With the route finally settled, some communities see the road as an economic boon, while others see a threat to their way of life. Chicago Public Radio’s Gabriel Spitzer reports.

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Richard Saks says on this issue, where you stand depends on where you sit.

In the case of his community, the village of Big Rock, it sits right in the path of the future Prairie Parkway.

Village Administrator Saks says he understands why some in the region are excited about the new highway and its economic opportunities. But he says most in Big Rock fear for their rural lifestyle.

SAKS: I would have to wonder what their view might have been had the path of Parkway been through their community or their township as opposed as to Big Rock.

The Big Rock village board recently voted to oppose the Parkway, which would link highways 80 and 88 in Kane and Kendall Counties.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced the parkway’s route last week. But lawmakers would have to appropriate more than 600 million additional dollars to complete the project.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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