Transportation | WGLT

Transportation

Katherine Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

A new Pontiac Rail Station has opened to Amtrak service. State Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said this is the latest of several station improvements on the Chicago to Saint Louis Corridor that will improve performance on the high speed rail corridor.   

“After years of construction along one of the busiest passenger rail corridors in the country, the benefits are beginning to show with beautiful new stations in our state’s great communities,” Secretary Blankenhorn said.

Steven Damron / Flickr

Illinois is observing its first-ever Distracted Driving Awareness Week The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and Triple-A created the initiative.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies in the state will focus on violations for distracted driving, including the Town of Normal.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

McLean County and state and federal elected leaders hope a bike trail will eventually extend from the northern border to the south end of McLean County.

On Wednesday they dedicated a new eight mile stretch of the Constitution Trail extending along Route 66 from Normal to Towanda. U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) said he is sponsoring a bill to make Route 66 a national historic trail.

Michael Hill / WGLT

There's debate on the McLean County Board over how much priority to give improvements at an east side intersection.

County Board members agreed on more discussion for the $1.6 million project at Towanda Barnes and Ireland Grove roads.

CIRA sign under blue sky
Staff / WGLT

Central Illinois Regional Airport leaders are still hoping to create new property taxes for rural McLean County property owners.

The idea first surfaced two years ago, when a federal budget sequester threatened to eliminate funds to operate the airport control tower.

Connect Transit

Connect Transit in Bloomington Normal is facing a problem, an aging fleet of busses and capital money tied up in operations because the state isn't paying its share. Isaac Thorne is the Interim General Manager for the bus system.

"The majority of our busses are 2004, 2005 busses. And we have eight 1998s. We hope we can replace six in 2018 which would bring us down to needing seventeen," said Thorne.

Man Killed By SUV Driver Identified

Apr 2, 2017
Emma Shores / WGLT

The McLean County Coroner is continuing its investigation into a pedestrian death on Veterans Parkway.

Coroner Kathy Davis identified the man as 50-year-old Jeffery A. Darr. A preliminary autopsy indicates Darr died from injuries after being struck by a sport utility vehicle on Veterans Parkway, south of Shepard Road in Normal.

Darr was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:19 PM Friday. The Normal Police Department is also investigating the crash. Toxicology results are pending. 

Google

The Bloomington City Council is discussing lowering the speed limit on another road and the Mayor thinks it may be time to move forward on revised commission to address transportation issues.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner was in the Chicago suburbs Monday pushing to add toll-lanes to Interstate 55. He also took the opportunity to attack Illinois Democrats.

Transportation Planning Driven By Survey Results

Mar 22, 2017
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Long Range Transportation survey conducted by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission (MCRPC)  late last year is providing direction for the organization's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The eventual blueprint will help guide transportation planning in the county for the next two decades.

Staff / WGLT

The Connect Transit Board has completed the hire of an Interim Director.

Former Chief Operating Officer Isaac Thorne will take over for Andrew Johnson until a permanent replacement can be chosen.

Passengers board a bus in Uptown Normal's transfer center.
Connect Transit

Bloomington-Normal's bus system has named an interim General Manager by promoting from within.

Chief Operating Officer Isaac Thorne will take over for General Manager Andrew Johnson. Johnson is leaving for a new job with the bus system in Champaign-Urbana.

Staff / WGLT

State Farm Insurance had an operating loss of $1.2 Billion last year.

But, net income was $400 million in the black according to annual company financial results.

Flickr

More than 100,000 Illinois drivers have been convicted for illegally using their cell phones in two years. The 2014 law says drivers can use cell phones only with a hands-free device.

Dave Druker is a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office.

O'Hare Anniversary Remembered

Feb 20, 2017
Beverly / Flickr

A naval aviator’s attack on Japanese bombers that gave Chicago’s O’Hare Airport its name took place 75 years ago.

On February 20th, 1942, Japanese bombers attacked the U-S-S Lexington, an aircraft carrier headed towards New Guinea.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois Wesleyan University students are now able to ride Connect Transit buses free.

The Student Senate and Connect Transit have a pilot program offering universal access, much as ISU students have.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Downtown revitalization figured strongly in answers during the GLT Bloomington Mayoral candidates forum.

Alderman Kevin Lower said during the event at Illinois State University's University Galleries, the city is not paying enough attention to the periphery of the community.

City of Bloomington

The Bloomington City Council is acting to build new sewer lines in a part of the city lacking full service. Mayor Tari Renner said the city sewer system is in bad shape.

Emma Meyer / McLean County Museum of History

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said he sees shifting rhetoric by Congressional Republicans that gives him hope the Affordable Care Act will not just be simply repealed.

Durbin said during a stop at the McLean County Museum Of History Route 66 Visitors' Center that a repeal would be disastrous for both the stability of the insurance marketplace and for medical providers.

Staff / WGLT

An 80-year old man has died in a crash at Veterans Parkway and Fort Jesse Road in Normal this morning.

McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis identified the victim as 80-year-old Wayne L. Miller of El Paso. Police Chief Rick Bleichner said three vehicles were involved about 9:30 a.m.

R.S.& H Architects

The number of passengers through the Peoria International Airport dropped slightly last year.

The General Wayne A. Downing Airport reports more than 623,000 passengers used the airport in 2016, a drop of about three percent from the record set in 2015.

McLean County Museum Of History

Today's Connect Transit bus system can trace its roots in Bloomington-Normal back more than 130 years. 

A new form of transportation connected Bloomington residents in the late 1800's, a horse railway.

Staff / WGLT

Normal residents will see Division Street reconstruction in the Spring. The Town Council has approved a $190,557 contract for Roe Construction to repair the road and sidewalk on Division Street between Lee and Adelaide streets. 

Staff / WGLT

Town of Normal staff are asking the Council to approve sidewalk and road construction along a stretch of Division Street. 

The Council will vote this evening on a $190,557 contract with Rowe Construction Company for Division Street roadway and sidewalk construction across the Main Street corridor. 

A petition from residents in the Spring Ridge subdivision influenced the Bloomington City Council to reduce the speed limit on a section of Hershey Road.

Kelly Garrett

For Kelly Garrett of Bloomington, her father's first plane ride at the age of 89 was a great experience. The second, not so much.

State Farm sign on building
Staff / WGLT

State Farm Insurance has now raised its auto rates in Illinois more than in any time in the last fourteen years.

Other insurers have also been increasing premiums charged to customers.

The Mayor of Normal said twin cities officials checked into negative news reports about Rivian Automotive and there is nothing there.

Koos made the case for proceeding with a million dollar cash grant and five year tax abatement to encourage Rivian to buy the former Mitsubishi plant.

Congressman Rodney Davis at a microphone.
Staff / WGLT

GOP Congressman Rodney Davis said he looks forward to the Republican Congress led repeal of Obamacare. Davis represents a part of Bloomington-Normal in the House.

Davis said he favors the road map put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan which would continue a prohibition on denial of insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions after a single new enrollment period.

"We can also address some of the problems that were in place before Obamacare was shoved onto families in this country with promises that were never meant to be kept," said Davis

Matt Turner / Flickr

Illinois’ constitution has been amended for the 14th time since it was adopted in 1970.

Voters overwhelmingly approved what’s known as a “lockbox” for transportation dollars.

A well-funded alliance of business and labor organizations waged a campaign for the amendment, after lawmakers skimmed millions from Illinois’ road fund to pay for other needs.

Mike Sturino is the CEO of The Illinois Road and Transportation Builders.

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