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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $4.6 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR EAST CENTRAL ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced $4.6 million in state funding for new capital road improvement projects in the East Central region.  These key improvements, which will begin this summer, will help spur the local economy and create construction jobs.  An aggressive campaign to enhance the quality of roads in East Central Illinois will be a major theme of the Governor's Opportunity Returns initiative for the East Central region, his pro-active, comprehensive plan for restoring economic opportunity to the area and throughout the state, when the region's plan is announced. Recognizing that safe and reliable roads are vital to capturing new investment in the area, helping existing businesses thrive, and creating future growth, Governor Blagojevich believes that making these capital investments is critical to providing real economic opportunity for people and business in the East Central region, both today and tomorrow.

“The road improvement projects we are announcing for the East Central region are meant to make a real difference,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “In the short term, they will spur the East Central region's economy by creating jobs.  And in the long term, this road work will help people and products move around this region more efficiently and productively.  I'm looking forward to announcing the entire East Central regional Opportunity Returns plan, which will bring jobs, revenue and renewed economic growth to this part of our state.”

The five new East Central projects starting this summer will cover almost 38 miles of roads.

County City Description Est. Cost
Iroquois Danforth/Gilman US 45-Danforth to US 24 (4.48 miles) Surface Maint. $360,000
Iroquois   US 52-US 45 (W) to ILL 1 (7.06 miles) Surface Maint. $570,000
Iroquois Crescent City IL 49-US 24 to Milford Rd (10.78 miles) Resurfacing $1,290,000
Iroquois Cissna Park IL 49-Milford Rd toVermilion Co Line (10.74 miles) Resurf.  $1,610,000
Iroquois   IL 54-N of Thawville to I-57 at Onarga (4.57 miles) Resurf. $775,000

“These projects represent a tremendous benefit for Iroquois County and for the entire East Central region.  IDOT is looking forward to commencing these major improvements this summer so that all East Central residents and businesses can enjoy a better transportation network for years to come,” said Timothy Martin, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Developed largely from the input of local business, labor and public sector leaders, and elected officials, Opportunity Returns delivers services on a regional basis and contains tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses.  The Governor has already unveiled plans for six of the ten regions – Northern Stateline, Northwest, Southern, North Central, Southwest and West Central regions.  He will announce the plans for the East Central, Southeast, Central and Northeast regions in the coming months. 



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