Federal Transportation Bill Has Local Leaders Excited

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It's been discussed for years, and now the Northern Illinois Commuter Rail initiative has laid down some important first tracks.

U.S. senator Dick Durbin joined state and regional leaders to announce some transportation projects coming to the Stateline. They include road improvements and lane additions at West State Street and South Main Street.

For the region, nearly two and a half million dollars will be used for analysis on the rail initiative.

It could connect commuters in Belvidere and Rockford to Chicago by rail lines.

Durbin says the rail line would provide an alternative to gridlocked I-90 traffic.

"It’s not only the roads that we can see, the obvious roads, but the rail service. Look at that congestion on that toll way. People understand the traffic there, and the congestion, and if we can give people alternatives to people who live in Boone and McHenry who travel back and forth by rail service, it's going to lessen that congestion," Durbin said.