IDOT Secretary Kicks Off Statewide Listening Tour in Champaign

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CHAMPAIGN--The Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary set off on a statewide listening tour Monday, and made his first stop in Champaign.

It's one of the few downstate communities where IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says transportation works, but there are still areas that could use improvements.

Residents and politicians packed the room for a discussion about which projects in particular still need some extra attention Monday.

High on the list is reducing the all-too-common delays Champaign Amtrak passengers experience on the Chicago to Carbondale route.  

Another concern is increasing the connectivity of the corridors between the University of Illinois campus and Carle Foundation Hospital in anticipation for the joint medical college that's to come.

"How we connect the university to a major employer, connect the technological advances from both of them through a transportation system, is great," said Blankenhorn. "But it's also how do you connect small towns into the Champaign market? How do you connect the Champaign market to the Chicago and Indianapolis and St. Louis markets? So I heard these connections make a lot of difference."

Blankenhorn will be in Springfield Tuesday to hear what those residents have to say.

The Listening Tour will continue through May 22nd, at which time Blankenhorn will compose a comprehensive report of all the discussions and present them to Governor Bruce Rauner.

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