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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2001

Governor Announces $14 Million in Illinois FIRST Funds for Continuation of Illinois 336 Construction

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the work to extend Illinois 336--the Quincy to Macomb highway--into Hancock County will begin today. The $14 million project is funded by the Governor's Illinois FIRST program.

Weather permitting, work will start on six miles of grading and paving for four lanes of new highway from the Adams/Hancock county line northerly to one mile north of West Point Road.

"The continuation of this work furthers the state's commitment to provide another four-lane highway in west central Illinois that will provide opportunities for economic development in the region," Governor Ryan said. "The new highway will improve the quality of life by helping to move people and goods safely and efficiently.

"The Illinois FIRST program has provided $28.5 million over the past two years for work on this highway, and $71 million is included in the Department of Transportation's five-year program for additional work on Illinois 336."

Competitive bids for the work were received by the Illinois Department of Transportation on November 17, 2000. The six-mile segment in Hancock County is expected to be finished in December 2001.

Construction started last year on an additional ten miles of new highway from IL 61 near Mendon to the Adams/Hancock county line. That $14.2 million in work is expected to be completed early this summer. When both projects are completed nearly 23 miles of four-lane IL 336 will be open from US 24 north of Quincy to north of West Point Road.

Additional construction in IDOT's five-year highway improvement program includes four-lane construction from north of West Point Road to two miles east of Carthage. Also included is the construction of additional lanes on existing US 136 and resurfacing from Township Road 226 to Deere Road west of Macomb, and a new interchange for the Macomb northwest bypass.

Engineering for the 20-mile four-lane section from east of Carthage to Township Road 226 is included in the highway program, but construction of the roadway is presently unfunded.



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