405 West Jackson Street

P.O. Box 10000

Carbondale, Illinois


April 1, 2003


Senator James Inhofe

United States Senate

453 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Senator Inhofe:


Once upon a time waterways determined the economics of our country. They were replaced by railroads. Large airports have had a similar economic impact on communities and regions. But, the largest factors, today, are probably the highways and the interstate transportation systems.


Southern Illinois and Carbondale are isolated and economically depressed. The highway project, ­involving highway 4 and 127, under the renewal of a land transportation act, would have the ability of jump-starting this area economically. It used to be if you economically advantaged one portion of our country you negatively impacted another part of our country. Those days are long gone. World trade and the birth of economies around the world create growth opportunities without negative impacts on other parts of this country. Southern Illinois needs to be jump-started. Spending money on a project of this nature to create the economic opportunities for southern Illinois is similar to providing young people with scholarships for college. They return to the Federal Government is many times more in the taxes they pay because of that college education than if they did not possess a college degree. The same would be true here, the economic return to the Federal treasury will be many times the cost of this highway project because of the economic development that this type of project will bring to all of southern Illinois.




George Maroney