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Aledo Times Record - Aledo, IL
  • Bustos advocates for local Illinois Infrastructure projects

  • Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T & I), advocated for the transportation and infrastructure priorities of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District at a full T& I Committee hearing on “Building the Foundation for Surface Transportation Reaut...
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  • WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T & I), advocated for the transportation and infrastructure priorities of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District at a full T& I Committee hearing on “Building the Foundation for Surface Transportation Reauthorization.” Among other projects, Bustos discussed replacing the functionally obsolete I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities, widening Highway 20 in northern Illinois, building the Eastern Bypass in Peoria, increasing passenger rail service throughout the district and investing in the region’s three international airports.
    The Group President of Caterpillar, Inc., Stu Levenick, also testified in front of the committee about the need to prioritize investing in infrastructure.
    Bustos’ prepared remarks are below:
    Thank you, Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall for holding this important hearing today.
    I would like to welcome Stu Levenick, Group President of Caterpillar Inc. I am proud to have Caterpillar headquarters located in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which I represent.
    I came to Washington to work across party lines to get things done, and I am pleased that I am part of a Committee whose leaders share that same goal.
    Issues like infrastructure funding shouldn’t be partisan ones. Efficient transportation of people and goods should be a priority for everyone.
    The District I serve in central, western and northwest Illinois is a central hub for the shipment of goods and people over road, rail, water, and through the air.
    It is home to three international airports – the Quad City International Airport, Peoria International Airport and Chicago Rockford International Airport.
    It is also home to thousands of miles of highway that connect east to west and north to south, and bring goods and people over the Mississippi River.
    The entire western border is met by the Mississippi River, on which the barge transportation of agricultural products, and other products and goods, is key to commerce in the region and country. The Illinois River is a major tributary through the District I serve, as well.
    Our region is also the world headquarters of both John Deere and Caterpillar. Last but not least, it is home to thousands of farmers and millions of acres of farmland.
    Our district absolutely depends on a modern, effective transportation infrastructure that enables the efficient movement of goods and people.
    I want a highway bill that truly serves the needs of the American people. I want to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, including rebuilding the aging and functionally obsolete I-74 Bridge across the Mississippi River.
    We need to widen Highway 20 in northern Illinois. It will improve safety and spur economic development in that area. And we need to build the Eastern Bypass, which would benefit Peoria and beyond. We need more certainty for these types of projects.
    Page 2 of 2 - And there needs to be a strong investment in public transportation. I will also work to strengthen and expand Amtrak, and to bring passenger rail to more communities across my district and our state.
    I know the challenges of short-term bills and extensions and how it makes it more difficult for planning of projects that often take years to complete. Hopefully this time around, we can get a long-term bill.
    With the safety and economic well-being of our communities at risk, Congress can’t continue to hit the snooze button on investing in our infrastructure.
    We all need to work together to strengthen and modernize our transportation systems, and I am looking forward to continuing this conversation in the weeks ahead.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.

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