Proposed highway project focus of task force report
The Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force has released its final recommendations.
The task force was created by a resolution introduced by State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo.
The task force was created to study the cost, feasibility and environmental impact of a proposed four-lane divided highway between Waterloo and Murphysboro.
The group also looked at the short and long term economic impact to the region, and all options for funding the project.
“I would like to thank the members of the Task Force and Chairman Dr. Marc Kiehna for their work and dedication to helping build the economy of Southwestern Illinois,” Schimpf said in a news release.
“The four-lane highway would be a boon for economic development in our region. It will bring growth to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and the Kaskaskia Port District, as well.”
Specific recommendations by the task force include funding for a four-lane highway from Waterloo to Murphysboro to “enhance capacity and reduce travel times, eliminate freight bottlenecks and congestion, promote tourism, boost infrastructure investment and economic activity in the region and enhance safety for all users.”
Members of the task force included representatives from business, labor, education, state and local elected officials, as well as the Kaskaskia Regional Port District.
The full report can be viewed at www.siconnector.com.