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Illinois Awarded $52.8M for Bloomington Project to Improve Rural Transportation and Mobility

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announces that it has received a $52.8 million federal grant to rebuild Illinois 9 in Bloomington as part of a new federal program to increase mobility, improve safety, and generate regional economic growth in rural areas.

"Here in Illinois, we're working to strengthen our state's transportation infrastructure by investing in roads, highways, bridges, bike paths, pedestrian walkways, and more," Gov. JB Pritzker said. "Thanks to this crucial federal funding towards the city of Bloomington's Route 9 highway upgrades, Illinois will further cement its status as a Midwest hub for safe, effective, and efficient highway transportation."

The grant will pay for improvements along approximately six miles of Bloomington's Illinois 9 corridor, including resurfacing, curb and gutter replacement, and sidewalk and ADA improvements. Bicycle facilities, including bike lanes and shared bike/pedestrian paths, will be included, as well as traffic signal upgrades and drainage improvements. The project will also relocate a bus stop and improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the area.

Together, these improvements will increase safety, provide a needed boost to multimodal options in the area, and enhance quality of life, all while directly benefitting the surrounding underserved community.

The first of five contracts covering the improvements is tentative to be awarded in the spring, with construction to begin soon afterward. Other contracts will be let over the coming years.

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"Under Gov. JB Pritzker's leadership, we are working to bring infrastructure improvements to every corner of Illinois," Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. "This grant will help us continue this mission as we work to upgrade safety and quality of life for all residents and visitors to our great state. We appreciate this opportunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation. IDOT will be delivering these resources as quickly as possible to Bloomington and all those who rely on Illinois 9."

The funding is made possible by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which awarded $645.3 million nationally in the second year of the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program to help communities throughout the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, rural roads face a disproportionally high rate of fatalities. A significant proportion of rural roads and bridges are in poor condition. The awards will improve the safety and reliability of movement of people and freight, as well as improve quality of life for rural residents, through investment in critical roads, bridges, and other transportation systems.

"This significant investment not only enhances our infrastructure but also paves the way for safer, more efficient travel for our residents," Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe said. "This transformative project marks a milestone for Bloomington's growth and underscores our commitment to creating a vibrant, connected city for all."

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