Governor Quinn Announces Investment in Macon County South East Beltway
New Highway Will Connect Interstate 72 and U.S. Route 51, Create Hundreds of Jobs
DECATUR – Governor Pat Quinn has announced a $10 million investment to begin work on the Macon County South East Beltway, a new highway that will connect Interstate 72 and U.S. Route 51 around the south and east sides of Decatur. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and built a 21st century infrastructure that will drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“This work is the first major development in the long-awaited project to improve transportation efficiency and safety in and around Decatur,” Governor Quinn said. “New work on the beltway is good news for the region, but it is also good news for the hardworking men and women of Illinois. The project will also help create hundreds of jobs that will grow and drive the local economy.”
The Macon County Beltway is an estimated $150 million project that will move traffic that often passes through Decatur and Lake Shore Drive around the east side of Decatur. The 22-mile highway will connect Interstate 72 east of Decatur with the recently expanded four-lane U.S. Route 51 south of Decatur at Elwin.
The $10 million investment from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program will be used for the final planning, utility relocations, and right of way acquisition for both the Route 36 Interchange and the Elwin Interchange portions of the Macon County South East Beltway. The state investment will allow Macon County to do all of the work necessary before construction takes place on these two segments.
The Elwin Interchange involves adding ramps to the existing County Highway 30 bridge over U.S. Route 51 and other related work to provide direct access to U.S. 51 for Beltway traffic. The U.S. Route 36 Interchange will provide direct access to the Beltway and includes a bridge over the CSX Railroad.
This bypass will improve access to Decatur Airport from Interstate 72 and to east side industries such as Archer Daniels Midland Company and Caterpillar Inc. as well as Mt. Zion’s Fuyao Glass Group. The new highway will improve safety by reducing heavy truck traffic on Decatur city streets
“I think it’s fantastic that we are getting help to move forward on the Macon County South East Beltway project,” Macon County Board Chair Jay Dunn said. “The project has already received federal approval, and this investment will allow us to begin the final planning, engineering and construction design for the Beltway.”
The Macon County Beltway project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years.Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.
Governor’s Illinois Clean Water Initiative Will Help Decatur Rehabilitate Aging Wastewater Infrastructure
DECATUR – Governor Pat Quinn has announced a $2.5 million investment for the City of Decatur to rehabilitate the city’s wastewater infrastructure. The project is funded by a low-interest loan through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Clean Water Initiative, and will create several jobs in the area. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to drive the economy forward and protect the environment by modernizing Illinois’ water infrastructure.
“Parts of Decatur’s wastewater system date to the early 20th century, and this loan will help them make needed upgrades to the system,” Governor Quinn said. “Our Clean Water Initiative is helping make communities like Decatur even better places to live and work now and into the future.”
The City of Decatur will use the proceeds of the Clean Water Initiative loan to rehabilitate an early 20th century combined sewer, overflow sewer and associated structures. These structures are critical elements in the Decatur watershed Combined Sewer Overflow management system, and help maintain sanitary service to local residents, businesses and industry.
Decatur receives an additional benefit from the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative as these subsidized loans result in additional savings over the life of the loans. The wastewater project is expected to be completed by spring of 2015.
“We appreciate the confidence that the State of Illinois has in the City of Decatur and its willingness to help fund critical local infrastructure improvements,” Decatur Mayor Mike McElroy said. “Projects like this are important to the continued growth and development of our community. This work will not only help protect the health and safety of our residents but will bring about jobs and help support local business and industry for decades to come.”
“Improving and upgrading these systems is essential for communities facing aging infrastructure that cannot continue to meet residents’ needs,” Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett said. “The Illinois EPA is proud to partner with communities on these projects that are necessary for protecting residents and the environment.”
“Investing in Decatur’s infrastructure is critical to residents and businesses alike,” State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “Increased economic development will follow when a city’s infrastructure is sound. I’m glad the city will be able to make these needed upgrades.”
Governor Quinn first launched the Illinois Clean Water Initiative in his 2012 State of the State Address to help local governments rebuild or repair clean water infrastructure, including aging wastewater and drinking water treatment systems and plants throughout the state. These projects ensure that facilities are being upgraded to protect our streams and rivers, our drinking water supplies and the environment as a whole. In July, Governor Quinn signed legislation that doubles Clean Water Initiative funding to $2 billion and expands the program to include stormwater management and treatment projects.
According to the U.S. EPA, it is estimated the water infrastructure needs in Illinois over the next 20 years will total $32 billion, including $17 billion in wastewater projects (which is the 6th highest among the states) and $15 billion in drinking water projects (4th highest need in the nation). To date, more than $850 million in wastewater and drinking water loans have been awarded under the Illinois Clean Water Initiative.
To learn more about Governor Quinn’s Illinois Clean Water Initiative, visit CleanWater.Illinois.gov.