MACOMB, IL – April 6, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $1.4 million roadway improvement project along Bower Road in the city of Macomb. The project supports economic growth in West Central Illinois by paving the way for NTN-Bower Corporation to expand its Macomb facility, creating 80 new jobs over the next two years.
“Illinois has one of the best transportation networks in the country, and we are committed to strengthening our infrastructure,” Governor Quinn said. “This project will help ensure the city of Macomb and the entire West Central Illinois region can continue to compete and attract investment.”
“When I visited NTN-Bower a few months ago, I was impressed by its strong leadership and potential for growth. Strengthening the infrastructure around this growing company is the right thing to do. By upgrading the roads to manage the increased heavy truck traffic in the area, the state of Illinois and the federal government are helping to lay the groundwork for the company’s expansion and the good paying jobs it will create,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).
The roadway project includes widening and resurfacing an intersection of Bower Road and U.S. 136 (Jackson St.), adding signals, a south leg, and a turn lane for traffic on U.S. 136. Work also involves extending the right storage lane for southbound traffic on Bower Road and resurfacing a shoulder northward on Bower Road to support increased traffic brought on by NTN’s expansion.
NTN, a manufacturer of tapered and cylindrical roller bearings, is investing $100 million to construct a new plant directly east of their existing operations at 711 North Bower Road in Macomb. Additional production lines will also be purchased and installed in the new plant. The new plant will be approximately 200,000 square feet and will create 80 permanent, full-time jobs. Construction on the building is scheduled to begin in May 2012, with completion slated for April 2013. Roadway construction is expected to begin in mid-August 2012, weather permitting, and is scheduled to be complete by the end of November.
“I am pleased NTN-Bower’s expansion will receive funding from the Community Development Assistance Program, the Truck Access Route Program, and the Economic Development Program. This expansion will create jobs, which is my top priority,” stated Sen. John Sullivan (D-Macomb).
Funding for the project is made possible through nearly $1.2 million in grant funds from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Economic Development Program and Truck Access Route Program. The city of Macomb also received a $231,000 grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) Community Development Assistance Program.
“The city of Macomb is grateful for the funding assistance provided by the Illinois Departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Transportation for improvements to U.S. 136 and Bower Rd,” said Macomb Mayor Michael Inman. “These improvements were important in securing the expansion of NTN-Bower’s operations in Macomb. The funding will allow Macomb to meet the increased demand for traffic volume, brought about by NTN’s expansion.”
DCEO administers Illinois’ CDAP program, which is known nationally as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and provides federal funding for a variety of community-based projects to communities with populations of 50,000 or less.
“This project demonstrates the power of federal, state, community and private partnerships,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator. “We are pleased to see CDBG funds being leveraged to create jobs and spur economic development in Illinois.”
The purpose of IDOT’s Economic Development Program (EDP) is to provide state assistance in improving highway access to new or expanding industrial distribution or tourism developments, and to create new employment opportunities. The department’s Truck Access Route Program (TARP) is combined with funding for Economic Development Program projects and helps local governments upgrade roads to accommodate 80,000 pound truck loads.
For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.