GOVERNOR HIGHLIGHTS CHICAGO SHORELINE PROTECTION PROJECT DURING ILLINOIS FIRST TOUR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2000
CHICAGO - Governor George H. Ryan today marked the one-year anniversary
of the Illinois FIRST program by officially announcing a $42 million
state contribution over five years to the Chicago Shoreline Protection
"The existing structures that guard the Lake Michigan Shoreline in
Illinois from flood and storm damage not only have expired - they have
crumbled away," said Governor Ryan. "To fix this problem, the Federal
government has authorized the reconstruction of eight miles of the shoreline.
The Illinois FIRST program provides for essential infrastructure improvements
just like this."
The state has committed to paying one-third of the local obligation
towards the federal match in Illinois FIRST money. The city of Chicago
and the Chicago Park District are contributing the balance of this local
share. Governor Ryan and Mayor Daley and have sent a letter to members
of the Federal Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to request
additional financial assistance for this project. On May 4, 1999, Ryan
proposed Illinois FIRST before a joint session of the General Assembly.
Later that month, the initiative was approved by both the Illinois House
of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. On June 15, Ryan signed
Illinois FIRST into law.
Illinois FIRST, a Fund for Infrastructure, Roads, Schools and Transit,
was developed by Governor Ryan to build, repair and upgrade the unmet
critical infrastructure needs facing the citizens of Illinois. Included
in the $12 billion package is a total of $4.1 billion dollars for the
construction and repair of roads, highways and bridges, as well as railroad
crossing safety, high-speed rail preparation and air transportation
Another $4.1 billion is being invested in Illinois' deteriorating
public transit system, while the state's School Construction Program
has been doubled under Illinois FIRST, providing $2.2 billion to help
local school districts build new classrooms and upgrade outdated facilities.
Also, a $1.6 million quality of life component will allow Illinois FIRST
to address essential infrastructure needs such as water and sewage treatment
facilities and public safety initiatives.
Ryan recognized the one-year anniversary of the Illinois FIRST
program with a five-city, Illinois FIRST fly-around. Other stops on
the governor's schedule included North Riverside where Ryan announced
$3.5 million in Illinois FIRST grants enabling Riverside and North Riverside
to construct a new water storage facility that will serve both communities.
In Rochester, Ryan announced a $39 million project to expand Route 29
from two lanes to four lanes in Sangamon and Christian counties. In
Rock Island, Ryan toured the new Black Hawk College Technology Center
that was made possible through a $450,000 Illinois FIRST grant. And
in Quincy, the governor highlighted the $85 million Illinois FIRST project
that will extend Route 336 from Quincy to Macomb.