EDWARDS, Ill. — Gov. J.B. Pritzker, along with State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) spoke at the IDOT Maintenance Facility on Thursday about the impact transportation infrastructure investments will have in the Peoria region.
“We are investing heavily in this area. We want to make sure that you’ve got those roads and bridges that you all deserve,” said Pritzker, “We’re the essential part of the supply chain for countries all across America and that means jobs for Illinois. But we can’t grow if we let our infrastructure crumble.
Illinois Secretary of Transportation, Omer Osman, said he’s been waiting for this type of funding for a long time.
“Getting extra funding for the up keep and the expansion has been long overdue, it’s been a decade and as you can tell just by driving our roadways, a lot of them are in bad shape,” said Osman.
Osman added that drivers can expect to see changes on the roads pretty soon.
“Initially, what they’re going to see is, we have massive pothole issues all over the place. That’s our priority, to take care those potholes, to bring the integrity of the pavement back to what we’s like to see,” added Osman.
Although the Rebuild Illinois Plan has increased for example fuel gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, Pritzker said it will fix decades-long problems and improve communities.
The $45 billion plan, part of Rebuild Illinois includes several projects specific to the Peoria area; more than $300 million is being invested into it.
- $114 million for Phase I of a Route 24 expansion, expanding the highway to four lanes and replacing bridges between Kingston Mines and Banner
- $48.6 million for road resurfacing and major bridge work for I-474
- $41.9 million for road resurfacing and bridge work on I-74 between Peoria and Brimfield
- $39.9 million for the Cedar Street bridge extension
- $35 million for the Murray Baker bridge rehabilitation
- $18.7 million to replace the Harmon Highway bridge over Kickapoo Creek
In addition to the transportation projects, other projects being funded include:
- $5.2 million for renovations and improvements at Illinois Central College
- $1 million for renovations to Garfield Primary School
- $500,000 for repairs to the Fulton County Jail and Courthouse
“One of the biggest complaints I hear about from my constituents is the condition of our roads,” Koehler said. “This plan will change that.”