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WGLT, an NPR station in central Illinois, is following every move at the Rivian manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The electric vehicle startup has gone from stealth mode to big-time player in the auto world, attracting attention (and big money) from companies like Ford and Amazon.

Normal To Swap Rivian For Mitsubishi On Motorway

Rivian plant exterior
Ryan Denham
The stretch of U.S. Route 150 outside the west side auto plant in Normal could soon become Rivian Motorway.

The Bloomington-Normal driving public might have to get used to a new name for a prominent road.
Place names say something about the culture of a community. Often they are not permanent. Roads and parks get named every now and then for public servants or fallen soldiers, and sometimes even businesses.

The Normal Town Council will take up a measure at its meeting Monday evening to rename the current Mitsubishi Motorway for Rivian, the technology company that bought the plant when Mitsubishi left town several years ago.

Town staff said several landowners along the stretch of road in front of the plant have had their concerns addressed. The Illinois Department of Transportation said as long as the City of Bloomington, McLean County and the Emergency Systems Telephone Systems Board also sign off on calling it Rivian Motorway, IDOT will replace the signs at no cost.

Rivian would also get name exposure on Interstate 74 exit signs.

Of course, if you don't like either name, you can always call it U.S. Route 150. That's correct as well.

The Town Council will also consider renaming an access road now called Sakura Lane. Instead it would become Electric Avenue, not for the Eddy Grant song, but for the kind of vehicles Rivian will make in Normal.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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