Eisenhauer Capital Hearing

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) was joined by Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer in Springfield this week to testify about the infrastructure needs in Rantoul.

Eisenhauer spoke at the final meeting of the Joint Subcommittee on Capital in Springfield, which has been touring the state to hear input on a future capital development bill in Illinois.

“As we consider the best path toward improving our state’s infrastructure, it’s important to hear from local leaders like Administrator Eisenhauer about what communities like Rantoul need,” Bennett said. “We want to make sure that we are investing in our districts.”  

It has been more than 10 years since Illinois last passed a capital construction plan, and many roads, bridges and other infrastructure require immediate attention. In grading the state in 2018, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Illinois a C, determining that the state’s transportation infrastructure shows signs of deterioration and faces increasing vulnerability to risk.

Eisenhauer discussed the need of support and funding for the Smart Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (STII) based in Rantoul, a public-private partnership that includes state and federal government, industry, and a consortium of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois-Chicago, Northwestern University. STII’s goal is to develop the research needed for next-generation transportation technologies. Currently, STII is focused on building the Illinois Automated and Connected Track, a research facility in Rantoul that would conduct testing on self-driving vehicles.

Eisenhauer told the Committee that an infusion of funds toward this project would not only create construction jobs but would also benefit P-12 and higher education and open the doors for private-public partnerships in the community.

 “Infrastructure is needed to support the kind of economic growth that we anticipate seeing following the construction of these new projects,” Eisenhauer said. “None of this can happen without your strong support of economic growth in our state and implementation of a capital bill.”

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