Rockford workers were out doing emergency repairs to water lines on West State on Monday. One of many repairs done on an ongoing basis to maintain the city’s aging infrastructure; a growing problem nationwide.
The Trump administration put out their plan to spend $200 billion over the next ten years to repair the country’s infrastructure, which it would leverage in $1.5 trillion dollars in spending, eventually impacting local roads.
“What could happen? Half of that money would go to the state level and then the other 25 percent would go to rural communities and 25 percent of that for other project,” says Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney.
What Rockford or Winnebago County would do with their share of that money would be ordered on importance. Number one on Winnebago County’s list is a project estimated to cost $20 million.
“So, the one that’s at the top of the Winnebago County list is the Riverside Boulevard modernization project, said Haney. “That is a very important road for commuters for freight travel. So, looking to modernize that, we are looking at a $20 million dollar.”
The Trump administration also wants to streamline the federal government review process for infrastructure projects from as long as ten years, down to two years. Regional planners say that both more dollars and less red tape could make a real difference on your daily commute.
“There’s a need for significant infrastructure investment; whether $200 billion is the right amount over 10 years, I’ll leave that up to Congress, but any dollar amount spent by the federal government to partner with us, the state government, is very much welcomed,” added Executive Director of Rockford Planning, Michael Dunn.