Governor Quinn Celebrates Completion of Interstate 80 Expansion Project

Illinois Jobs Now! Project Created 340 Jobs While Enhancing Safety, Reducing Delays and Improving Traffic Flow throughout Will County

MOKENA–(ENEWSPF)–October 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, joined by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider and other state and local officials today announced the completion of construction on Interstate 80 from U.S. 30 to U.S. 45 in Will County. The $26 million project- funded through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction plan- widened and improved a nearly 8-mile stretch of I-80. The project created or supported nearly 340 construction jobs, and the improvements will help spur economic development, minimize travel delays, improve access to businesses and enhance safety.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has made modernizing the state’s transportation infrastructure a top priority, pushing for and signing into law the first capital construction plan in more than 10 years.

“I-80 connects Illinois to both oceans and is one our state’s most important interstates for transporting people and goods,” Governor Quinn said. “This project not only created hundreds of construction jobs, it also laid important groundwork for more local development that will grow our economy and benefit drivers for years to come.”

Construction on the project began in spring of 2011 by adding another driving lane and new signage along the stretch. Noise walls were also installed on a stretch of 7.8 miles of Interstate 80 from U.S. 30 to U.S. Route 45 in New Lenox, Mokena and Orland Park. More than 80,000 vehicles travel this section of I-80 every day. 22% of these vehicles are trucks hauling goods.

“Thanks to Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, motorists on a traditionally congested stretch of I-80 can expect better access to their destinations, improved air quality and a reduction in travel delays,” Secretary Schneider said.

“Adding lanes to the Main Street of the Midwest means jobs for Will County residents,” said State Senator Pat McGuire. “These improvements make the most of the Interstate 80/I-355 connection and strengthen our area.”

“We appreciate the investment the State of Illinois continues to make in Will County’s important highway corridors,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “The additional lane on Interstate 80, between Route 30 and Route 45 will improve safety and traffic flow, and help facilitate economic growth in this area.”

Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is the largest in Illinois history, supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs. The program, which began in 2009, dedicated more than $14 billion for transportation needs through 2015.

Of the more than $14 billion in the program dedicated for transportation, $11.3 billion has been invested in projects throughout Illinois, improving more than 6,900 miles of roads and more than 1,000 bridges, while creating or supporting approximately 140,000 jobs.