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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2006

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH RALLIES WITH LEADERS THROUGHOUT SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS FOR THE PASSAGE OF A $3.2 BILLION CAPITAL BILL THAT WILL CREATE 230,000 JOBS
Jobs Bill Will Build Better Roads, Improve Mass Transit and Ease School Overcrowding Throughout The Region

EFFINGHAM – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich joined business and labor leaders and elected officials today to aggressively advocate for the passage of a $3.2 billion capital bill that would help build new roads and schools and improve mass transit throughout the state. Southeast Illinois would receive nearly $90 million in funding.

"There are roads and bridges and highways across Illinois that need to be built and need to be fixed. We need to build new schools and help commuters who rely on public transportation. These are things that need to be done. So we should do them. And if we do them, we will give people in Effingham and all around Illinois the opportunity to go to work. 230,000 jobs all across Illinois. We cannot let partisan politics get in the way of progress. We must all work together in a constructive way to create more jobs throughout our state. So please, let’s pass this jobs bill. Let’s put even more people to work," Gov. Blagojevich said.

In communities all across Illinois, critical construction projects could finally begin if the Governor’s $3.2 billion capital plan is approved, with an additional $3 billion coming in from the federal government for projects approved in the recent federal transportation bill.

The following Southeast Illinois projects would be funded under a capital plan:

Road projects:

US 50

$42 million for new roadway construction and reconstruction of 9 miles, engineering for design, location and environmental studies on US 50 from just west of the US 45 intersection west of Flora to Town Hall Road east of Flora and from Fox River west of Olney to Saint Marie Road east of Olney.

Maple Street Extension in Effingham

$7.9 million for new roadway construction of 1.2 miles, a new bridge, land acquisition, engineering for design, location and environmental studies of the Maple Street extension over I-55/70 in Effingham.

Township Road 1000N from Township Road 900E to IL 130 north of Mattoon and County Highway 18 from IL 121 to 2 miles east

$6.6 million for 13.7 miles of new roadway construction and resurfacing.

Effingham's "Outer Belt" West

$4.8 million to develop Effingham's "Outer Belt" West, which will connect when completed the middle and southern I-57/70 interchange zones, allowing for a 300-acre combination of new industrial, commercial and trucking development.

Stanford Road in Flora

$1.2 million for the reconstruction of .4 mile, engineering for design, location and environmental studies from US 45 to North Street.

Public Transportation:

Possible improvements to public transit under the capital bill could include new paratransit vehicles in Edgar and Coles counties.

School Construction:

Stewardson-Strasburg Community Unit District 5A would receive a more than $2 million school construction grant.



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