The governor is touting the widening of part of I-80 as an important project for economic development. The work is wrapping up on the widening of eight miles of I-80, between U.S. 45 and U.S. 30 in the Mokena area, east of Joliet. Gov. Pat Quinn says it’s the kind of investment that Illinois needs.
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“We are the inland port of America. We’re not on an ocean, but we are right here in the middle of the country, a strategic location for intermodal and logistics to distribute goods all across the center of our country, the heartland of our country, so we can keep getting good jobs, warehouse jobs, distribution jobs, manufacturing jobs, if we have good transportation,” he said. The governor characterized I-80 as one of the “most important roads in America,” running from Fort Lee, N.J. to San Francisco. This project cost $26 million, paid for by the state’s capital program. The capital program, since it was enacted in 2009, has produced $11.3 billion in transportation projects, resulting in 7,000 miles of roads being repaired or improved, and 1,000 bridges being built or refurbished, and the creation of 140,000 construction and construction-related jobs, said IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider.