Durbin Touts New Transportation Bill in Champaign
By Jeff Bossert
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the final version of the federal transportation bill includes nearly $6-billion in projects for Illinois alone.
The Democratic Senator sat on a conference committee that drafted the final version of the bill signed last month by President Barack Obama. That measure includes funds for resurfacing for a stretch of Interstate 57 near Champaign.
Durbin appeared at a state transportation maintenance center Wednesday to announce the funding. He says Illinois’ portion of federal dollars is more than it’s received in the last 15 years, including more than $8-million for I-57.
"The best economic development we can make in America is building things here that we'll service for generations to come," Durbin said. "Creating and keeping good paying jobs all the way across this country. I want to make sure we extend this infrastructure bill, this highway bill, beyond the three years that it's here to give us promises for years to come."
Combined with state funds, the portion of Interstate 57 from near Thomasboro to Olympian Drive should be completed by mid-October.
IDOT construction field engineer Mike Carnahan says the majority of work should be done by Labor Day.
The funding also includes $1-point-5 billion for transit systems, like the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District.