Columns

​​Hosey: New closed-loop roads the path to our future

Since when was building a new road such a terrible idea?

We need roads. Without them, it would be nearly impossible to get anywhere, unless you had some sort of all-terrain vehicle, or maybe a horse.

Not only that, but building roads gives motorists more options and eases traffic congestion, at least theoretically.

With roads not only so necessary, but also so choked with traffic around here, you might think the good people of NorthPoint Development would be applauded for asking the state to go ahead and construct a new route from the site of the massive logistics complex it has planned for the south end of Joliet all the way to a proposed CSX intermodal in Crete.

But the good people of NorthPoint were not applauded. They were denied by the state and criticized by the same group that’s hell-bent on stopping them from building their monstrosity of an industrial development in the first place.

No matter how you feel about NorthPoint, whether you’re for or against them building an obscenely massive industrial complex that no one living near its proposed site seems to want, it doesn’t mean everything they’re up to is evil.

For the sake of argument, let’s say they succeed in ramming through their plan for the industrial development, and from the way East Gate Logistics Park Chicago, a company managed by NorthPoint, has been throwing money around, donating $10,000 to the campaign committee for Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk in July and $5,000 to the campaign committee for Councilman Larry Hug less than two months ago, according to the Reform for Illinois Sunshine Database, you have to consider it a possibility.

Once the development is a reality it will have thousands of trucks driving in and out of it. If those trucks had a highway from NorthPoint to the intermodal in Crete, a road with no entrances or exits except for those at Points A and B, they wouldn’t pose a problem to drivers on local roads.

This imaginary road would be a “closed loop,” just like the magical closed loop the people from NorthPoint assured everyone will somehow solve all our traffic woes once they build a bridge over Route 53.

While this new road will be a closed loop, it could still be open to the public. Anyone could drive on it, so long as they want to go straight from Joliet to Crete, or the other way around, and don’t plan on stopping anywhere between.

There’s no reason to stop at one closed-loop highway either. Once they’re done with the road to Crete, they should get busy with another, this one stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan, anywhere on the shore of Lake Michigan, but the closer to Joliet the better, naturally.

With a road like that, you wouldn’t have to worry about a $1 billion pipeline or water bills tripling in the not-so-distant future. You merely have to send a parade of tanker trucks up and down the closed-loop highway, back and forth from Joliet to the lake.

God knows, we already have enough trucks scattered around town. There’s so many they even keep them at the water park these days.

Now all we need is the road, and then we’ll be getting somewhere.

• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at jhosey@shawmedia.com or on Twitter @JoeHosey.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.