Lindsay Parkhurst, the Republican candidate for the District 79 State House seat, recently expressed support for the Kankakee County Board's opposition to the Great Lakes Basin Transportation (GLBT) railroad project.
Lindsay Parkhurst | Contributed photo
The county board's concerns include the impact of a last-minute addition of a 15,000-acre rail port, which was added to the project during the environmental review process without advance warning. Kankakee County did not have time to analyze the impact of an additional 15,000-acre site being added to the rail project. There are 271 homes and two cemeteries within the boundaries of the proposed rail port, which would be affected if the project is approved.
In addition to the rail port, the board expressed concerns regarding the effect of the proposed railroad route on existing infrastructure, traffic patterns, farmland and waterways. The board proposed that the railroad expand and improve the existing infrastructure instead of building a new rail line.
"I'm pleased that the Kankakee County Board unanimously approved a letter opposing the Great Lakes Basin Rail Project," Parkhurst said. "This project is a boondoggle in the making -- similar to the Illiana Expressway or South Suburban Airport -- and ought to be opposed. I proudly stand with the folks at BLOCK GLB Railroad and many other local entities in opposing this project. Any possibility of using eminent domain for private gain is a gross abuse of state power. This project threatens the lives and livelihoods of farmers, homeowners and rural communities in our area and is not the way forward for our state."