ROCK FALLS – November 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, joined by Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, state legislators and local officials, today cut the ribbon on a major new bridge on Illinois 40 between Sterling and Rock Falls. The $27 million project included funding from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and created or supported nearly 350 jobs. The replacement bridge over the Rock River is the primary connection between the two towns and sees an average of 26,000 vehicles each day.
“Vital local projects like this are a win for everyone, creating hundreds of quality jobs and improving the quality of life for entire communities,” Governor Quinn said. “This bridge is a major improvement for Sterling and Rock Falls that will help drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians travel more safely and quickly, while boosting the local economy.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) project replaced the outdated Illinois 40 (1st Ave.) bridge over the Rock River. The new bridge includes two travel lanes in each direction and new recreational paths to safely accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists while connecting them to a pathway on the Rock Falls shoreline. Construction began in January and was funded in part by a $5.4 million investment from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, with the remaining funding coming from the federal government.
“Today we proudly stand here to announce the timely and cost-efficient completion of the Rock River Bridge replacement project, and also want to highlight how this federal-state-local partnership supports the local economy and improves the quality of life for travelers and residents,” Secretary Schneider said. “Thanks to Governor Quinn’s support of this major infrastructure project, regional motorists will now experience a safer and smoother ride, emergency vehicles can travel more effectively, and pedestrians and bicyclists will be provided with an adjacent and safe pathway.”
In addition to fully replacing the previous bridge and adding safe pedestrian and bicyclist accommodations, IDOT recycled concrete, beams and piers from the old bridge and provided them to the city of Rock Falls for use in the development of a recreational riverfront park.
Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is the largest in Illinois history, supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs. The program included $14 billion for transportation through 2015, and $1.5 billion for higher education. Of the $14 billion in the program dedicated for transportation needs, nearly $11.7 billion has been invested on projects throughout Illinois since 2009. These projects have improved more than 6,600 miles of roads and more than 1,000 bridges, creating or supporting more than 140,000 jobs.