Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will relocate its Division of Traffic Safety to the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation Building, at 540 N. Commercial Street in Harrisburg. The State has an agreement to purchase roughly half of the building, which is located in
Saline County, for $812,160. This relocation will save the State of Illinois an estimated $12.8 million during the next 10 years, while stimulating the economy in southern Illinois.
“The southern Illinois region has suffered disproportionately as a result of the downturn of the economy and will benefit greatly by this relocation,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “I am happy to announce that we are here to give southern Illinois its share, and that much-needed jobs will be created in this area.”
The move is expected to create approximately 125 jobs, on top of the approximately 140 positions within Traffic Safety that will be housed in the facility in Harrisburg – adding value to the southern Illinois economy. The relocation of the Division of Traffic Safety is expected to take six to nine months to complete.
The Division of Traffic Safety is presently housed at 3215 Executive Park Drive in Springfield, and currently employs approximately 140 full-time employees. All full-time employees have been offered the opportunity to relocate to southern Illinois, with IDOT covering the cost of their moving expenses. AFSCME employees who do not opt to move will retain a three year right to recall within IDOT, at or below their current title.
“I commend the Governor on increasing the efficiency of the Illinois Department of Transportation and boosting the southern Illinois economy,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees. “This move will be very beneficial to the Harrisburg community. Not only will new jobs be created, but more money will be pumped into the area. We have no doubt the Division of Traffic Safety will continue performing its exemplary work, from this new location.”
During preliminary analysis, IDOT looked into the economic/employment position of all Illinois regions, based on statistics provided for individual counties. Four of the five counties with the highest unemployment rates statewide are located in southern Illinois. According to an economic impact analysis, this move will pump $15 million into the southern Illinois economy.
“This is truly a great day for southern Illinois, and I know the people of Harrisburg will welcome the employees who relocate here with open arms,” said Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton). “Meanwhile, having a major division of IDOT in our area will bring about economic development that we could not have dreamed of, otherwise. It is very exciting to see this happening, here.”
As part of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Division of Traffic Safety’s mission is to formulate, coordinate and deliver information, services and programs which will mobilize public and private resources to establish effective public policy and integrated programs to improve highway safety in Illinois.