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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $13.2 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS IN THE NORTHERN STATELINE REGION

 
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that an additional $13.2 million in state funding is being dedicated to new capital road improvement projects in the Northern Stateline region.  The key improvements, which will begin this summer, will help spur the local economy and create construction jobs.  The aggressive campaign to enhance the quality of roads in the Northern Stateline region is a major theme of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his pro-active, comprehensive plan for restoring economic opportunity in the Northern Stateline region and throughout Illinois. 
 
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 the Northern Stateline region, both today and tomorrow. 
 
“The name of the game in the Northern Stateline region is job creation.  Built on the tireless work ethic of its citizens, the economic foundation of the region is solid and the outlook for the future is bright.  Yet to truly stimulate job creation and expand economic opportunity, the roads and highways throughout the region need to act as a better support system to regional commerce.  By making these capital investments, we will see that transformation take place,” Governor Blagojevich said.      
 
The seven Northern Stateline projects cover more than 38 miles of road:
 
County City Description Est. Cost
Winnebago Winnebago US 20-Pecatonica Rd. to Falconer Rd. (6.6 miles) Resurf. $2,200,000
Winnebago Rockford US 20 Rockford Bypass-Montague Rd. to I-39/US 51 (8.2 miles) Resurfacing $2,625,000
Winnebago South Beloit ILL 2 & ILL 75-N of Roscoe Rd. to Whittemore Dr. Rockton (4.4 miles) Surface Maintenance $1,700,000
Stephenson Cedarville ILL 26-Skyline Dr. to Ogle County Line (4.7 miles) Resurf. $600,000
Ogle   ILL 26 & ILL 72-Montague Rd. to ILL 72 (3 miles) Resurf. $350,000
Winnebago South Beloit ILL75&US 51-ILL 2 to I-90 in S. Beloit (2.2 miles) Resurf. $1,250,000
Winnebago South Beloit ILL 251-ILL 75 to ILL 173 (9 miles) Surface Maint. $4,525,000

“Quality roads and highways are much more than a means of getting from point A to point B, they are a key to expanding economic opportunity and promoting regional growth.  The Governor understands that better than anyone, and, by working together, we can do a lot to strengthen the economic capacity of this region.  These road improvements are a great example of that idea at work,” Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Timothy Martin said.

 
The Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – finding areas with common economic strengths and needs, and developing a plan with specific actions for each region.  This grassroots effort for the region was the product of significant outreach over several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials.  Opportunity Returns contains tangible actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to business.  The 30 specific projects that the Governor announced last October for Northern Stateline region are designed to be flexible and effective.  This plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.


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