Paving the way for economic growth in Pekin

By Mark Bullion

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:37 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- The City of Pekin has received a combination of federal, state, and local dollars to help expand one of its roads and it's paving the way for economic development in the city.

It was an exciting Wednesday morning for area lawmakers and community members as ground was broken to expand Veterans Drive, a project that has been in the making for around a decade.

While it may be dirt now, this soon to be section of Veterans Drive will be a major economic boost for the city of Pekin."

"The additional mile of road has resulted in new businesses popping up, additional investment happening here in Pekin and that's exactly what you want when you put your money in infrastructure," said 18th District Congressman Aaron Schock.

Congressman Schock says it's not just about the jobs it creates to pave the road, but also paving the way for Pekin's economy. However, it has come with a price, a price luckily, that has been covered by local, state, and federal dollars.

"The big expense of this project has been the relocation of power, gas lines and things, it's about a $2 million project," said Rich Kriegsman of the Pekin Transportation Committee.

The one mile stretch is just section 4 of the entire project, with sections 5 and 6 yet to be complete.

"We're getting ready to start design on 5 and 6 and of course trying to find the money to build those two section," said Joe Wuellner, Pekin City Manager.

The one mile stretch is expected to be done by next year while the last two sections will hopefully be complete within the next 5 to 10 years.

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