Durbin Meets with Will County Officials to Discuss Transportation Bill & Local Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with members of the Will County Governmental League who were in Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in. Durbin and the group discussed local economic development issues and transportation priorities. Although the Senate has acted to pass a long-term authorization of funding federal surface transportation programs, the House of Representatives has yet to take up legislation reauthorizing highway and transit programs. This bill will have a significant impact on Illinois, which is home to one of the nation’s largest multimodal transportation networks. A photo of the meeting is available here.


“The Will County Government League serves as an important local voice for the business and community interests of the entire region,” Durbin said. “Today, I asked its members to join with other local stakeholders in urging the House of Representatives to join the Senate in passing a bipartisan transportation bill that provides the necessary resources to upgrade our aging infrastructure and put America back to work.”


Attendees at today’s meeting included: Hugh O’Hara, Executive Director of the WCGL; Mike Klemens, Director of Transportation and Planning for the WCGL; Mayor Terry Kernc, Village of Diamond; Mayor John Noak, City of Romeoville; Mayor Greg Szymanski, Village of Beecher; and Administrator Tom Durkin, Village of Channahon.


In July, Durbin worked with U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to pass a long-term, bipartisan transportation bill that provides the certainty that businesses and state governments, like Illinois, need to plan critical infrastructure projects and create good-paying jobs. Since the previous long-term transportation bill expired in 2009, Congress has passed 33 stop-gap measures to keep the country’s major transportation and infrastructure programs from shutting down.


The Senate-passed Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act reauthorizes surface transportation programs for six years through fiscal year 2021. Specifically, the bill promotes continued growth in the highway and transit funding, includes funding for Positive Train Control implementation and creates a national freight rail program.  Illinois receives nearly $2 billion per year from the Highway Trust Fund.