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The Infrastructure Bill is signed, now where will we see that money in Central Illinois

Infrastructure bill brings billions to Illinois.
Infrastructure bill brings billions to Illinois.(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:42 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - President Biden signed the $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday afternoon. The White House is calling the bipartisan effort a “once in a generation investment meant to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.”

So what does that mean for Illinois. 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos was on hand in Washington to witness the signing. Afterward, she took time to speak about what the massive legislation means for Central Illinois.

“This brings 9.8 billion for highway projects. Four billion for public transportation. One point seven billion to improve drinking and waste water services across the state. At least 1.4 billion for bridge replacement and repairs. At least 100 million to expand high speed internet access, particularly for rural communities,” explained Bustos.

Bustos said with billions in federal funds comes more jobs. “This will create one and a half million jobs every year. These are union jobs. These are jobs in the building trades. These are jobs that families can be supported on,” she explained.

For the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport, this could mean major upgrades that weren’t possible before.

“What this program does is it finally makes it eligible for us to compete for funds to replace this building,” explained Gene Olson, Director of Airports. The building he’s referring to is the control tower, in operation since 1959. Olson noted that the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t even exist until 1960, the year after the current control tower was built.

Infrastructure bill brings billions to Illinois.
Infrastructure bill brings billions to Illinois.(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)

“It’s about a 20 million dollar price tag to replace a building that’s been in operation since 1959,” said Olson.

Since the control tower is owned and operated by the airport, Olson said they haven’t been able to apply for certain federal funds in the past.

“The building needs 13 million dollars worth of improvements to bring it up to code. We’ve already done the design and we’re ready to go. But we were cut off from all construction funding. And what this program does is it finally makes this project eligible and it’s really a lifesaver for this airport,” added Olson.

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