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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $11.5 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS IN THE NORTHWEST REGION

SPRINGFIELD –Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that an additional $11.5 million in state funding is being dedicated to new capital road improvement projects in the Northwest 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 Northwest region is a major theme of the Governor's Opportunity Returns initiative, his pro-active, comprehensive plan for restoring economic opportunity in the Northwest 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 Northwest region, both today and tomorrow.

“The Northwest region has a wealth of great attributes that provide a solid foundation for economic prosperity, including its strong agricultural base, its rich tourism appeal, and its quality colleges and universities. But to realize the tremendous economic growth potential this region holds, its transportation infrastructure needs to be included in that list of attributes. These capital investments are a critical step to making that happen and to strengthening the overall economic portfolio of the entire region,” Governor Blagojevich said.

The 16 projects starting this summer cover 75 miles of roads in the Northwest region.

County City Description Est. Cost
LaSalle Troy Grove US 52 - IL 251 to I-39 (3.6 miles) Resurfacing $500,000
LaSalle   US 34 – I-39 at Mendota to Earlville (7.1 miles) Resurfacing $960,000
Rock Island Rock Island US 67/11 th St. - 19 th Ave. to 6 th Ave. (.84 miles) Resurfacing $300,000
Putnam   ILL 18 - IL 26 to IL 89 (7.2 miles) Resurfacing $900,000
LaSalle Ottawa ILL 23, 23B & 71A - I & M Canal to Il. River Bridge (.65 miles) Surface Maintenance $300,000
Putnam   ILL 26 - I-180 to IL 18 (11.3 miles) Resurfacing $1,380,000
Bureau   ILL 26 - IL 29 to Il. River (2.2 miles) Resurfacing $255,000
Bureau Princeton Ohio IL 26 - ILL 92 to Red Covered Bridge Road (9.9 miles) Surface Maintenance $1,400,000
LaSalle   ILL 71, 251 & 351 - I-39 to S. of IL 71 I-39 to E. of IL 251 (1.2 miles) Resurfacing $275,000
LaSalle   ILL 71 - US 6 to I-80 (1.7 miles) Resurfacing $230,000
LaSalle   ILL 71 - US 52 to Kendall County Line (3.9 miles) Resurfacing $475,000
Rock Island Rock Island ILL 92 & 92A - 24 th Ave. to 38 th Ave. (.89 miles) Resurfacing $1,000,000
LaSalle Senecca ILL 170 - Il. R Bridge at Seneca to Grand Ridge Rd. (4.2 miles) Resurfacing $595,000
LaSalle Ransom ILL 170 - Grand Ridge Rd. to Livingston Co. Line (10.9 miles) Resurfacing $1,540,000
LaSalle North Utica ILL 178 - US 6 to ILL 71 (3.7 miles) Resurfacing $450,000
LaSalle Marshall Wenona ILL 251 - N. of IL 18 to N. of IL 17-S JCT (6.2 miles) Resurfacing $880,000

“Expanding and improving key roads in the Northwest region is vital to the economic future of the region. By facilitating the flow of commerce, we are laying the foundation to capture more investment in this area which will result in job creation and widespread economic growth throughout the regional economy,” 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 Northwest region was the product of significant outreach over several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials. The more than 30 projects that the Governor announced last October for Northwestern Illinois 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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