Clinton was a hub of transportation project pitches on Tuesday as nearly 20 delegations met with the Iowa Department of Transportation Director, Illinois Secretary of Transportation and all seven Iowa DOT commissioners for a roundtable and public input meeting.
The roundtable with both Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino III and Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider was the first of its kind. Iowa DOT Commissioners, including Clinton’s own Dave Rose, focused the discussion on projects essential to both states.
“We recognize the importance of thinking regionally. We connect the entire Midwest,” Schneider said. “If Iowa succeeds, we succeed.”
“A lot of communities function on both sides. We understand that and the broader economic factors,” he said.
Among the projects they discussed were the Interstate 74 bridge, which Schneider said is in this corridor in Illinois’ top seven priorities list, and U.S. Highway 30, which is not.
Despite its absence on the priorities list, Schneider said the Illinois DOT has been looking at the Highway 30 project since 2002.
“We see a lot of volume, I know you do, too,” Trombino said.
Illinois’ Highway 30 project involves constructing a 24-mile four lane stretch from Fulton through Rock Falls. The study is still in Phase I and needs to work around an unexpected floodplain in Morrison as well as other traffic and safety issues before it can proceed and complete the environmental impact study and hold a public meeting on the construction in Spring of 2013.
Illinois DOT estimates this will be a $500 million project the state will need to split up in order to fund.
“We’ve been working on this since 1995...The Northwestern part of Illinois does not have a four-lane road,” Rose said. “I think the transportation in that part of the state really needs to be worked on.”
The Sabula-Savanna bridge was also discussed during the roundtable.
After the roundtable discussion, the delegation presentations began.
“I’m excited to see what the other delegations are working on,” Clinton Mayor Mark Vulich said.
Carolyn Tallett represented the Iowa/Illinois Highway Partnership while Barb Suehl and Betty Steinert represented the U.S. 30 Coalition of Illinois and Edith Pfeffer spoke for the U.S. 30 Coalition of Iowa.
“We need to be the driving force to get 30 completed,” Suehl.