Transportation options can empower citizens by giving them access to public services and employment. GRAC member agencies share a common goal of better coordinating public transportation access.

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Economic Development Program (EDP) funds highway improvements needed to increase access to new or expanding industrial, distribution, or major tourism developments. EDP provides up to 50 percent state matching funds for eligible local agency roadway-related construction and engineering items. The remaining funds are provided by local governments or private sources. Three EDP projects include:

LincolnLand Agri-Energy in Palestine (Crawford County) invested $54 million to build a 40-million gallon ethanol plant. IDOT provided $1,127,050 for road improvements, curbs, gutters, and railroad crossing protection devices. The department also provided Truck Access Route Program (TARP) funds to upgrade the roads to 80,000 pound truck route standards and accommodate increased truck traffic. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provided $4.8 million in Renewable Fuel Grants and $25,000 in planning grants to this project. Collaboration by GRAC partner agencies was essential to the project’s success.

Illini Bio-Energy in Hartsburg (Logan County) is building a 50-million gallon coal-fired ethanol facility and will create 39 jobs in Orvil Township and Logan County. IDOT committed to provide 50 percent of eligible roadway-related items for improvements on a total distance of 1.2 miles. Funding will include eligible roadway engineering, contingencies, construction costs and bring these roads to 80,000-pound truck route standards.

Sysco Corporation, North America’s largest food service marketing and distribution organization, plans to invest $15 million to locate a distribution center close to a highway interchange near Lincoln (Logan County). The company will keep 35 employees and create 150 new full-time jobs. IDOT will fund 50 percent of the roadway-related improvements at $762,600. The department also has provided funds for signals, turn lanes and ramps at a cost of almost $2.5 million. The department will help bring these routes to 80,000-pound truck route standards.

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Transportation (ICCT), built a clearinghouse, based at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs’ Rural Transit Assistance Center (RTAC) to help local agencies provide transportation for the disadvantaged.

The ICCT helped Lawrence and Richland counties obtain public transportation by joining the Rides Mass Transit District. More than 20 counties have received assistance from the ICCT in helping achieve countywide transportation.

 Health Care
 Working Families
 Economic Development
 Alternative Energy
 Digital Divide

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