$1.5 million road to nowhere in Godfrey, Illinois

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 11:46 AM

GODFREY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- It's become the poster child of government waste: the famed Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere.

Now, News 4’s Chris Nagus is hearing about a Road to Nowhere in our own backyard and it's costing more than $1.5 million tax dollars.
 
Susan Marhaus of Godfrey, Illinois lives a stone throw away from a beautiful new road but she wonders who's going to use it.
 
“Waste of money, lots of concrete trucks … it goes nowhere, it ends in a cornfield,” said Marhaus.
 
She's exactly right. The three-lane stretch of road abruptly ends just shy of a cornfield. Records show it cost more than $1.5 million to construct.

It does provide access to a neighborhood with 60 homes, but there's already a service road connecting the neighborhood to the main road. In fact, Susan Marhaus lives in the neighborhood and says all of this new construction is unnecessary.
 
Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick says the road is part of a bigger vision that might eventually be a cross town connector aimed at stimulating economic growth.  McCormick told News 4 “they think it's a road to nowhere, but 255 was a road to nowhere when it started.”
 
But there is currently no funding available to build it plus there's private property in the way and Godfrey doesn't use eminent domain.
 
And here's the real problem with this project: it's one of those classic government sponsored use it or lose it deals.
 
The federal dollars were designated to Godfrey years ago, but if the money wasn't spent by the end of 2012, the funds would be shifted to someone else's field of dreams.
 
Even when Chris Nagus asked the Mayor if there were better ways to use the money, Mayor McCormick agreed. McCormick says he would rather use a million and a half dollars to build sewers but his hands are tied. The Mayor also told News 4 he was originally opposed to the road when he was a Village Trustee because of land acquisition issues.  But as mayor he supports it because now that one section is built, the village has a better chance at getting funding to build more sections down the road.
 
If you spot government spending that has you asking “Is This Why We're Broke?” let Chris Nagus know on his KMOV Facebook page or send him a message on twitter @ChrisNagusKMOV.

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