WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) continued her fight for our region’s transportation priorities by hand delivering a letter containing a list of transportation projects across Illinois’ 17th Congressional District to Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner who attended the Illinois congressional delegation’s monthly bipartisan lunch.
“I write to congratulate you on your successful election as the new Governor for the great state of Illinois,” said Bustos to Rauner while highlighting regional transportation priorities. “I look forward to working with you to fund transportation projects that reflect the needs and realities of those in my district and across the country. I thank you for taking my transportation recommendations into consideration.”
Bustos, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been a champion for investing in our region’s transportation networks. In April, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited the region at the invitation of Bustos to hear firsthand from local community and business leaders about these high priority transportation projects.
Bustos’ letter to Rauner is below and here.
December 4, 2014
Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Dear Governor-Elect Rauner:
I write to congratulate you on your successful election as the new Governor for the great state of Illinois. I wish you much luck during your term and hope to work with you on the many issues that are important not only in my region but throughout our state. As you know, Illinois’ 17th Congressional District is a central hub for shipping goods and people over road, rail and water, as well as through the air. The region is also home to thousands of miles of highway that connect east to west and north to south.
As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Highways and Transit Subcommittees, I am committed to fighting for all of the region’s roads, bridges and other transportation needs because investing in our infrastructure will not only create jobs now, but will lead to more efficient movement of our goods and greater future prosperity.
I have included a list of some of my top priorities for transportation funding within the 17th District:
Interstate 74 Mississippi River Crossing, Quad-Cities
The I-74 Bridge is in urgent need of replacement due to crashes, recurring congestion, and significant maintenance; built for a daily crossing of 48,000 vehicles, the daily average is 80,000. The bridge is functionally obsolete with no shoulders and has never met Interstate standards, and crashes along portions of the I-74 corridor exceed three times the national average.
Expand U.S. 20 to four lanes between Freeport and Galena
Widening the two-lane highway from Freeport to Galena could spur development by allowing easier transport of goods and services throughout the Midwest and increasing safety for those that use this road. Most of existing U.S. 20 between Galena and Freeport does not meet the Illinois Department of Transportation’s current design standards for rural highways.
U.S. 30 in Whiteside County
Studies by the Illinois Department of Transportation, such as the Environmental Impact Study and Phase 1 Engineering show that U.S. 30 has reached its design limits in its current two-lane configuration. U.S. 30 in its present condition is congested, unsafe, cannot provide the necessary transportation route to support planned and anticipated economic development in this region and does not provide a safe route for the traveling public.
U.S. 24 Expansion in Fulton County
The expansion of U.S. 24 from two lanes to four lanes, between Kingston Mines and Banner, IL, is Fulton County’s top transportation priority. In its current state, this heavily utilized roadway is a significant safety risk and thus, a growing concern to the community. An increase in lanes would eliminate the safety hazard and increase economic development in the county.
Eastern Bypass between Interstate 74 and Illinois Route 6
New highway construction that would connect I-74 with Illinois Route 6 east and north of Peoria would have significant positive impacts to business and economic development, as well as provide improved transportation, efficient access connecting communities and traffic flow for local workforce and population. Construction of this bypass would better connect the region and, specifically, communities in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford County.
Passenger Rail from Chicago to the 17th Congressional District
I am pleased that funding was awarded in 2011 to begin rail service between Chicago and the Quad-Cities. I have been working with local communities to keep this project on track because it will lead to hundreds of jobs being created and provide a big boost to the region and Illinois’ economy. I am also pleased about the recent announcement regarding passenger rail service from Chicago to Rockford and will continue to work to eventually get service to Galena and beyond.
Thank you for taking these transportation recommendations into consideration. I look forward to working with you to fund transportation projects that reflect the needs and realities of those in my district and across the country.
Member of Congress