Peotone airtport potentially revitalized, still faces strong opposition

Local officials say a proposed airport in rural Peotone has become an on-again, off-again nightmare for local residents.

Since 2002, the Illinois Department of Transportation has purchased more than 4,000 acres of land, totaling nearly $100 million, in a plan to eventually build a third major airport serving Chicagoland. The planned site lies little more than 40 miles south of Chicago in rural Will County.

But with waning support from state officials and an ongoing budget stalemate keeping funds locked down, the proposed airport looked to be stalled.

IDOT official says Peotone airport 'still alive'

MONEE, Illinois — The sign at the entrance to Bult Field, the small general aviation airport situated among the farm fields of southeast Will County, welcomes visitors to “The Future Site of the South Suburban Airport.”

While that statement might seem to have missed the apparent dormancy into which that project, along with other major transportation projects in Illinois, has fallen, state transportation officials insist the airport is moving forward.

An interchange and dreams of one single metro area

While the highway gets all the attention, it's what comes after the construction of the Interstate 57 interchange in Bourbonnais that likely will transform this region.

A study conducted by Ratio, of Indianapolis, could be released to Bourbonnais as early as this coming week and will outline in general terms the future development of some 2,300 acres from west of U.S. Route 45/52 to east along Illinois Route 50 in and around the area of 6000N Road.

"This will literally have a significant impact on three communities — Bourbonnais, Bradley and Manteno — for years to come," said Laura Wimberly, Bourbonnais' assistant village administrator, who is helping guide this project.

There's lessons to be learned from projects that succeed and fail

Since we are an area where the economy has struggled during the past generation, the Kankakee River Valley has had more than its share of announced "saviors" as projects.

Some have worked. Some, as detailed in a thoughtful story in the Weekend Edition of the Daily Journal, have not.

There are lessons to be learned.

Listen to local officials who say Illiana, third airport are dead

Some important Southland news appears to have been overlooked last week amid the hubbub surrounding Donald Trump's canceled Friday night rally in Chicago and rising hysteria over this year's presidential election.

In case you missed it, a headline in Friday's Southtown read, "Will County officials: Illiana, airport are dead." The story included a comment from Will County Board member Bob Howard of Beecher, a member of the board's legislative and policy committee, who said: "We cannot wait for the Illiana. It's dead. It will not become a reality."

Will County: Peotone airport ombudsman no longer needed

JOLIET – Will County likely will end an agreement with an ombudsman assisting property owners whose land is located within the planned South Suburban Airport’s footprint.

Members of the Will County Executive Committee agreed last week there’s no need to continue with the position because the eastern Will County project is essentially dead in the water.