Below are Issues, Concerns, and Frequently Asked Questions

1.      How wide is the Connector expected to be?   The Connector may be as wide as an Interstate (average 400 feet) with additional area needed for frontage roads and “bubbles” intersections.

2.  Statistics shows St. Clair County population in: 1980 @ 264,177 compared with 2000 @ 256,082.  So, was there a population reduction?  Yes, in 20 years – there has been an 8,000 person reduction - yet the proposed road is needed for an IDOT projected 25% vehicle increase.  The Committee would like to know from IDOT – Who is driving the increased vehicle fleet?   Statistic reference: http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/county.cfm&id=17163

3. Since the Connector is costing millions – would it be beneficial to enhance our existing roads vice disrupting the environment and family lives?  Yes, roadway enhancements are drastically less costly, thus it is the Committee’s effort to pursued politicians that an Interstate in this area is not a solution for traffic control.   Some enhancements we have recommended are adding turning lanes and/or enhancing intersections accordingly, or even using Highway 4 (state owned and 4 miles away) that is available to accommodate Interstate traffic.

4.  Even though the communities of the Tri-County are attractive – do we want to become another  Chesterfield, Clayton, or St. Charles region?  No.  The Committee feels that by building the Connector – your elected politicians will bring a severe burden on this region in countless ways, besides the unwanted traffic.  Some of those burdens are: air pollution, more traffic due to commercialization, increased noise pollution, increased crime, traffic accidents because of high speeds, hazardous materials being transported near your neighborhoods, environmental disruption, destruction of wild life, family life style disruptions, family heritages destroyed, just to name a few!

5. Is "Bigger - better" when it comes to our communities, schools, city governments, tax bases, and commercialization?  No.  The Committee feels that every community will carry the burden of IDOT’s endeavor.

6. Do residents prefer a life style that is smaller, quieter, less congested, and more reflective of the unique character, culture, and heritage of our neighborhoods and communities?   Yes.  People need to enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods that are under threat.  A vote against the Gateway Connector is a vote to preserve and strengthen the communities we enjoy today, and work toward restoring and revitalizing weakened infrastructure and communities.

7.  Did you know that IDOT's proposed Connector may run as close to a person's house as 10 feet?  Sadly, the answer is Yes.  The reference to this appalling issue is in Illinois Compiled Statutes, Roads and Bridges, Illinois Highway Code 605 ILCS 5, DIVISION 5, PROPERTY ACQUISITION AND DISPOSAL, (605 ILCS 5/4-501), Section 4-501, paragraph 4.

8.  Did you know through increased taxes we would pay the hundreds of millions of dollars for constructing this Connector, plus pay forever for the cost of maintaining it?  Yes, it will be inevitable that your tax money will be spent to create and maintain this Connector.

9.  Did you know - since the Tri-County does not have a population growth, that the same number of people residing in it will have bare the burden of supporting two infrastructures, the old and the new?  Costs of outward sprawl include more roads, more schools, more services, fire departments that can no longer be volunteer, new water lines and sewers, and more...yet in the communities that are losing population these same services have to be supported. Outer Belts such as the one proposed are not needed to serve the people; rather, they discourage redevelopment of the core by big business and they compound the sprawl and duplication of infrastructure. And you pay the bill!

10.  Did you know that the Tri-County region are in violation of the national ambient air quality standards for ground level ozone?   Yes, they are.  In fact, failure to comply with the standards by 2004 could result in loss of federal highway funds and/or serious regulations on new and expanded industry. An Outer Belt would compound this problem, because mobile sources (including cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, construction and agricultural equipment) are major sources of air pollution. Driving a car is probably our most polluting daily activity. Nationwide, mobile sources account for about 75% of carbon monoxide pollution; in urban areas it may exceed 90%.  So, rather than more trucks and cars – why not enhance or focus on an efficient public transportation (ie. MetroLink).  Metro-East adopted light rail with enthusiasm; it needs to be expanded, not cut back. Spending half a billion on an Outer Belt while reducing MetroLink schedules because of money shortage is outrageous! It is hazardous to your health and pocket book both!

Do you have a question or concern?  Feel free to ask us anything.  Ask and we will research the answer for you then post it for others to see.  Email:  HWCollectn@Aol.com