Committee approves plan to invest in Rockford infrastructure

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford officials are investing more money into the city’s infrastructure.

The “Capital Improvement Program” was approved by the Finance and Personnel Committee on Monday night, and more than $248 million will be reinvested into the city’s infrastructure over the next five years, from drinking water to improving roads.

“When you look at public infrastructure, it would be really hard to imagine a day where you’re not interfacing with our public infrastructure in Rockford,” said Kyle Saunders, Director of Public Works for the City of Rockford. “Whether it’s when you turn on your tap and that fresh, clean, desirable drinking water comes out, or you’re riding down that road and there’s that nice smooth surface, it impacts our residents on a daily basis.”

Saunders said that over the next year, $45 million will be reinvested into things like roads and sidewalks.

“We have a lot of on-going, large scale design engineering going on with Charles Street reconstruction, 9th Street two way conversion, Whitman Street reconstruction, so we have a lot of really big transformative projects that we’re working on over the next year,” Saunders said.

Saunders said that in the next five years, the program will invest more than $248 million into Rockford. It is a result of a 1% sales tax fund.

“More than 70% of our annual revenue comes from that funding source, it’s really huge to see that being put to work in the next five years,” Saunders said.

The Public Works Department will be working with Aldermen to see where projects can be beneficial for residents and their safety, according to Saunders.

“Identifying which, more than 200 blocks, of neighborhood roads are going to be improved in terms of their need,” Saunders said. “As soon as the capital improvement program is approved by city council, we’ll get started working with our aldermen on our neighborhood programs. When they’ve got good, conditioned, sustainable public infrastructure it’s huge for our community.”

The plan will go to the full city council next week for approval.

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