Transportation for Illinois Coalition Summit

August  30, 2013

A group of organizations in the Illinois Quad Cities wants the government to invest more money on roads, bridges, and mass transit. The Transportation for Illinois Coalition held a summit Thursday in Moline to promote spending more on infrastructure.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos spoke to the group about the importance of investing in the 17th District's transporation needs.

"Right here in the Quad Cities," said Bustos, "We have a interstate bridge that the most recent past secretary of transportation called the worst interstate bridge in the country. It is what is deemed structurally obsolete. That means we got to invest in it. Not just in the I-74 bridge, but on highways. We have to figure out as leaders in our community how we're going to address some of these issues."

Bustos currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

She's introduced a bill that would encourage private funding to help the government fix the navigation systems.

"We are facing $60 billion in backlog along our locks and dam system," said Bustos. "There is not a feasible way that the federal government alone can pay for that. Nor is there the appetite to pay for $60 billion in need. So we are going to have to figure out some innovative financing."

Congresswoman Bustos expects the Water Resources Bill to pass later this year. 

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition also is pushing the legislature to increase revenue from gas taxes and driver fees to pay for maintenance and repair.