Just as a car simply gets you to your destination, transportation is the means, not the end. That’s what the acting Illinois Department of Transportation secretary says about his department’s role in economic development. “It’s a strategy to strong communities; that’s what transportation’s about,” Randy Blankenhorn told lawmakers in an appropriations hearing. “We need to invest in that.”
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One lawmaker, State Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park), attempted to pin Blankenhorn down as to the need for a third Chicago-area airport. Blankenhorn would not bite. “I think that’s exactly why we’re looking at that,” said Blankenhorn of the long-discussed Peotone airport. “I think it’s very important that we maintain capacity as an economic driver of our state.” Blankenhorn added “technological issues” can improve air traffic efficiency in the future, saying a third airport is an option – but not the only one.