Illiana Opponents Cite Environmental Concerns

An area conservationist has a list of demands that Illiana Expressway organizers need to heed if it goes forward with its massive interstate passageway.

“For the most part, soils in the corridor are clay or silt-based soils of the Valparaiso Moraine. For these soils to remain productive, surface drainage with a subsurface drainage component is essential to soil productivity and to long-term soil health,” Bill Moran, a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said. He said it has been suggested an elevated highway would take care of farming and drainage issues.

Moran suggested an agriculture district should be established in Lake County if the project moves forward. Mitigation funds would be used to buy development rights to preserve an area of prime and unique farmland equal in size to that being lost in the county.

Moran said the proposed Illiana route cuts through no fewer than 23 major farming operations affecting at least 46 farm families.

SEVER STOREY NOTE: Mr. Moran makes some great points. Often one of the more overlooked aspects of land acquisition for highways is the impact on drainage or water access. These effects demand attention from IDOT and INDOT and are absolutely compensable under both state’s eminent domain laws.

If you think you may be affected by the Illiana Expressway and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at



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