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IN THE NEWS
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$52.7 Million for Local Transportation Improvement Projects Including Bike Paths and Walking Trails
SPRINGFIELD, IL, (SWI-News.com), April 13, 2014 - The $52.7 million investment in community transportation projects throughout Illinois will support more than 400 jobs through 71 projects, including bike paths, walking trails, historic preservation and streetscape beautification projects in communities across Illinois.

The funding is through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) - a federally-funded, competitive program that encourages transportation-related projects.

"These projects will support hundreds of jobs while preserving our heritage, beautifying communities and creating opportunities for pedestrians, bicyclists and others across Illinois," Governor Pat Quinn said in a release. "The projects will help improve the quality of life for everyone, and I commend Senator Durbin and Illinois' congressional delegation for fighting for this important community funding."

The ITEP program is designed to promote alternative transportation options, including bike and pedestrian travel, along with streetscape beautification. The federal funds are awarded competitively, and any local or state government is eligible to apply. Local matching funds are required, and work must begin on the projects within three years. For the current round of funding, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) received 232 applications requesting ITEP federal funding totaling nearly $260.5 million.

Madison County
Collinsville, $987,000 - Clay Street Phase 1 Streetscape Improvements
Metro East Park and Recreation District, $2,218,330 - Scott Troy Trail
Highland, $834,000 - Sharpshooter's Trail

St. Clair County
Village of Shiloh, $226,590 - Scott Air Force Base Bicycle Commuter Enhancement Phase 1
O'Fallon, $448,550 - Pike & Pedestrian Access Improvements Illini Bike Trail to Frank Scott Parkway

"These grants will make our communities better places in which to live and work," Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said. "They promote outdoor activity and help make us more proud of what our home towns have to offer."


Governor Quinn Unveils $8.6 Billion Transportation Construction Program
SPRINGFIELD, IL, (SWI-News.com), April 9, 2014 - Days after receiving positive feedback from bond rating agencies regarding his fiscal year 2015 budget plan, Governor Pat Quinn has unveiled a six-year, $8.6 billion construction program that will improve roads and bridges throughout Illinois while making major investments in public transportation.

The projects are part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs and build a 21st century infrastructure that will drive Illinois' economy forward.

"This comprehensive plan for our highways, public transit, rail and airport projects will make critical repairs and major improvements across Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "A booming economy requires a 21st century infrastructure. Our infrastructure plan will create thousands of construction jobs now while paving the way for more jobs and economic development in the future."

The fiscal years 2015-2020 highway improvement program will improve 1,845 miles of highway and replace or rehabilitate 384 bridges across Illinois. Among hundreds of projects across the state, the plan includes:

$110 million for the Alton-Godfrey Expressway

The improvement program also includes $1.85 billion for public transportation and $800 million for airports with $161 million for fiscal year 2015.

Projects that are part of the fiscal years 2015-2020 program will begin after July 1 of this year. Of those projects, IDOT is offering contractors a reimbursement rate of $15 an hour for hiring graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, an IDOT-sponsored initiative to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in the transportation construction industry.


Ameren Employees to Perform Thousands of Hours of Volunteer Service in April
BELLEVILLE, IL, (SWI-News.com), April 4, 2014 - More than 500 Ameren employees across Missouri and Illinois will participate in a variety of volunteer service projects in April. Activities include gardening, community clean-ups and painting for a variety of social service organizations.

The initiative is part of "Ameren Cares," which connects Ameren with the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. A key focus of Ameren Cares is to partner with nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life in Ameren's service territory in Illinois and Missouri.

"I enjoy helping those in my community," said Toni Love, an Ameren information technology development specialist and avid volunteer who recently was named the Mathews Dickey Boys and Girls Club Volunteer of the Year. "Knowing that Ameren supports our time spent volunteering is equally gratifying."

Volunteer projects will take place throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area as well as Peoria, Champaign and Decatur in Illinois. Some of the projects include:

Belleville
April 26 - Ameren's Multi-Generational Employee Resource Group will be painting and cleaning at the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois.

Peoria
April 25 - Employees will be gardening at Family House, a home away from home when children are hospitalized.

Decatur
April 26 - Employees will be painting at DOVE, an organization providing a diverse offering of programs to help address societal problems and individual needs.

Godfrey
April 26 - Employees will be at the Beverly Farms Equestrian Center to help with the expansion of their barn. The center offers an Equestrian Therapy program for those with developmental disabilities.

Champaign
April 26 - Employees will volunteer at the Illinois Marathon in support of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, which works to alleviate hunger in eastern Illinois.

"Ameren has a rich tradition of giving back to the communities across our 64,000-square-mile service territory," said Tom Voss, chairman and chief executive officer of Ameren. "Our mission, to power the quality of life, is larger than just the electricity and natural gas we provide; it's also to help make our communities better places to live by giving back through volunteerism, sponsorships and donations."


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Archived Southwest Illinois News:
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