Labor leaders joined Illinois transportation secretary Ann Schneider and U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Friday to celebrate the new federal transportation bill, which President Obama signed yesterday. Durbin and U. S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Belleville) were part of the conference committee to work out the final bill.
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“This is a great day today,” said Schneider. “I’m very pleased that Congress and the president have established a solid transportation reauthorization bill that puts Illinois on strong footing going forward.” “This highway bill is an economic engine,” said Brad Schaive of the Laborers International Union of North America, pointing to not only the paychecks that will be spent in Illinois communities, but also the business producers of raw materials will get before the projects begin. IDOT plans to bid out 60 projects next month, totaling $106 million.