“Plan B” worked!
In a meeting earlier today, members of the ICC, METRA, IDOT, county and DG, along with elected local downstate officials (don’t know who yet) sat down and IDOT hashed it out fast and sweet. They have almost all the cash, they want the project turning dirt ASAP, they are in. The balance, maybe $200,000 will be coughed up a bit here and there by other parties.
Update: IDOT ponies up the full funding. $8.3 million was what the parties figured as the actual gap.
After 10 years of effort, finally the work can begin.
As it turns out County Chairman Bob Schillerstrom was a key player in getting the Plan B meeting together, and Bellock, Pihos, and Dillard, and the lobbyists, did their part in schmoozing IDOT Sec. Milton Sees to bring him to the table ready to get a good deal done and in motion.
Sandack was elated at the outcome ( and quick to run off a long list: staff, elected officials, and resident written emails that all played a part. All contributed shoulders to helping move the stone.
There’s a huge upside for DG because of this project. For one, trucks now traveling to and from Ellsworth Industrial Park can easily access from either Ogden or 55th to I-355 and on to the interstate network. That makes EIP a more desirable place to locate. For another, that area will be able to qualify for quiet zone status-no more horns, no more bells. Another; traffic movement from north to south becomes easier to manage. Commercial opportunities will increase along Belmont. Ambulances have a straight shot to Good Sam.
Almost 20,000 vehicles and their passengers will benefit each and every day from this project.
This is a big project. Keep in mind two different Mayors worked hard in this. Brian Krajewski got the deal up and running from a dead start to waiting for IDOT to make good. Staff back then worked hard to coordinate all the agreement paperwork, and council back then voted to put DG irrevocably on the path. Ron Sandack kept it going and closed the deal, council now kept it front and center, and staff now kept at it, to make sure it does indeed move forward.
It’s all good, man. All good. This is a happy day for DG. Please remember how important this transportation safety project is when you’re grumbling about construction there for the next many months.