Needless tree destruction on scenic Route 2

November 9, 2011

The recent story and photos run by the local newspaper about widening Route 2 north of Rockford does not tell the whole story. The tree removal is clear cutting thousands of trees from a strip about 100 yards wide and a quarter-mile long. That includes tree removal from a wetland. Drive north on Route 2, Main Street, and see for yourself. Reportedly, the IDOT says they will replant only 650 trees. How many years before that replaces what has been lost?

It is the worst kind of urban sprawl. It removes an attractive, shady green space and plants concrete. It paves over existing productive cropland and plants highways. All this destruction for a 3-mile expansion from two to four lanes. The price tag is over $20 million, so that amounts to $7 million per mile. Such a deal. The benefit? Suburban residents may be able to drive home faster from their jobs in Rockford. Some say it boosts economic development, but do we truly need an extension of strip malls and sports bars along Route 2? It is a sad, destructive waste of money when so many bridges and highways need to be repaired.

Michael Griffith

From the Nov. 9-15, 2011, issue

One Comment

  1. VeryModest

    November 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    While I’ll miss driving through that section of trees on my daily commute from the country into the city – just as you will, but I also see the need for a safer road. That stretch of IL 2 has been a death trap for decades. What I really wish they had done is swung the new road out around the back side of the trees before heading north. It would have cost the tax payers less simply because there would not have been the need to build a bridge. That only would have saved us all money. Maybe even enough money that they could of taken the new road all the way north instead of leaving a less than 2 mile section of the road incomplete.

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