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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2006

IL 29 Pieces Coming Together for Progress as IDOT Opens Latest Link between Taylorville and Springfield
Four-Lane Stretch between Taylorville and Edinburg Opens to Traffic; Improving Safety and Reducing Congestion

Taylorville – Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary, Timothy W. Martin, joined with state and local officials today in officially opening a new four-lane section of IL 29 between Taylorville and Edinburg. The $30 million segment from just more than a mile south of Edinburg to Taylorville is the second of three segments needed for completing a four-lane roadway from Rochester to Taylorville.

“This latest segment in the expansion of IL 29 will improve economic opportunity, relieve congestion and make this road safer for the thousands of commuters who take it everyday,” IDOT Secretary Timothy W. Martin said. “It demonstrates Governor Blagojevich’s commitment to safety, improving our quality of life and the economy. It is a great example of what can happen when we work together in a bipartisan fashion.”

“I am pleased to see another section of a four-lane Route 29 opening. It was my pleasure to bring federal funding to help with this vital transportation project in central Illinois,” said Congressman John Shimkus. “I will continue to work for its completion.”

Construction on the Taylorville-Edinburg section of IL 29 began in August of 2004. The 6.7 mile segment is the latest piece in the effort to widen IL 29 between Springfield and Taylorville. The $30 million project included reconstructing the existing two lane highway to a four lane expressway.

“We’ve taken another step in our goal to make travel safer on Route 29 for the many central Illinois residents who drive it daily,” said State Senator Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville). “Although there is more work to be done, I certainly applaud the years of dedication shown by our local and state officials on this vital project.”

“This project was a long time coming. Lots of people put in hard work to make it happen,” said State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington). “Now we will reap the benefit of a safe road and better infrastructure for economic development.”

There are thousands of commuters who take IL 29 southeast of Springfield in Sangamon and Christian counties on a daily basis, which contributes to congestion along IL 29, especially during the morning and afternoon commutes. The project corrects deficiencies in the former layout, making it safer, increasing roadway capacity and improving economic development opportunities within the corridor area.

“I have long felt that the economic future of Taylorville and Christian County relies heavily on making IL 29 a four-lane expressway,” said State Representative Gary Hannig (D-Gillespie). “Not only is it going to improve safety for area commuters, but it is providing jobs during construction and it's improving the area's economic prospects for the future.”

“Completion of this section of Route 29 brings us a step closer to our final goal of a four-lane highway,” said State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth). “These improvements will help keep motorists safe and spur economic development and job creation in the area.”

The Taylorville-Edinburg section is the second of three portions needed to complete IL 29 as a four-lane expressway from Rochester to Taylorville. A 5-mile section between Rochester and Berry was completed in 2004. The final portion, a nearly 6.5-mile section between Berry and Edinburg, is currently being designed. Once the Berry to Edinburg portion is finished it will complete a 23-mile four-lane expressway between Springfield and Taylorville.



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