At the recent gubernatorial debate in Rockford, candidates made some big promises to improve transportation systems in the region.
Mayors and county leaders from northern Illinois met Wednesday in Freeport to discuss those issues and how to lobby state and federal officials to turn promises into action.
Big promises and big opportunities for northern Illinois, that’s what area government leaders heard from Republican Jim Ryan and Democrat Rod Blagojevich at Monday’s debate.
"U.S. 20 is a top priority, the Rockford Airport is a top priority,” says Ryan.
"Metra rail service is a top priority,” says Blagojevich.
The stateline has been fighting for these projects for years but has gotten little more than political posturing.
"Having them both in a public forum on television not only debating but talking about the issues that effect northern Illinois and making direct promises to the area. All of that's extremely important to the entire area,” adds Rockford Mayor Doug Scott.
The mayor's meeting here in Freeport say they think both Ryan and Blagojevich are committed to these transportation projects, and are eager to hold them to it.
"We're going to make sure that they hear from us early and often and we're going to make sure we speak on a common agenda and we are heard in Springfield and Washington and that we're all working together,” says Freeport Mayor Jim Gitz.
These northern Illinois leaders say working together they will see some progress no matter who rides to victory in November.