ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NOTES
Economic development projects in communities all over Illinois are injecting needed revenue, revitalization and economic activity into the state. Below is a look at some of the projects underway in Illinois.
- CARTERVILLE: Comptroller Mendoza joined Gov. JB Pritzker and State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) in breaking ground on the Walker’s Bluff Resort and Casino in Carterville on Dec. 8, 2021. “Between construction and the casino, we’re talking about more than a thousand much-needed jobs, millions of dollars in annual tax revenue, and yet another fun thing to do in Southern Illinois,” said Comptroller Mendoza. Walker’s Bluff has been an entertainment and tourist destination in Southern Illinois since the early 2000s. The project is part of an expansion of the gaming industry in the state, which will bring in additional revenue to be used for infrastructure projects in Illinois.
- CAIRO: After 10 years of negotiations, the Cairo river-port development is becoming a reality after State officials, the AFL-CIO and the Alexander-Cairo Port Authority signed a labor agreement in November 2021. With $40 million in state funds from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, groundbreaking on the site is slated for late 2022. The agreement signed also ensures that no less than 500 construction jobs in the first phase are filled by local union workers.
- QUAD CITIES: In December 2021, Gov. JB Pritzker announced the completion of the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge in the Quad Cities. The project cost approximately $1 billion and includes twin river bridges, new interchanges, ramps and local road reconfigurations. The I-74 corridor serves as a primary crossing of the Mississippi River, carrying 45% of vehicular traffic between Illinois and Iowa. You can learn more about the project at the I-74 River Bridge website.
- BENTON: The I-57 widening in Southern Illinois advanced further thanks to a $67.6 million investment from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. The project will expand nine miles of I-57 to six lanes from north of Illinois 149 to south of Illinois 154; installing median barriers, resurfacing lanes, updating guardrails and adding rumble strips. The bridges over the Big Muddy River will also be replaced. The project has bipartisan support, with endorsements from State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) and State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton).
- VILLAGE OF ALTO PASS: Five communities across Illinois will receive funding for wastewater infrastructure from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Roughly $16.8 million in grants will be provided to Freeport in Stephenson County, Westfield in Clark County, East Dubuque in Jo Daviess County, the Northern Moraine Water Reclamation District in McHenry County and Alto Pass in Union County. The village of Alto Pass is the first recipient of funds, with $4.4 million allocated for the construction of a new wastewater treatment system with chlorination, and a septic tank effluent pump wastewater collection system. For more information about these grants, visit Unsewered Communities — Unsewered Communities. ■