The picture is looking better for Western Illinois but is bleak for the rest of the nation. That’s what U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said during the grand opening ceremony for the public transit center in Macomb.
LaHood highlighted his connection to the area, having attended Spoon River College, and applauded city and county’s efforts on the new transit center.
He said infrastructure and public transport are keys to economic development.
"So what a thrill it is for me to be back here after driving on these lousy roads twenty five years ago wondering whether this part of Illinois would ever get it's act together, well you did, you did, you made it happen," Lahood said.
LaHood said the nation is still far behind in the investments that need to be made, calling America “one big pothole.” He called for the passage of a long term, five year, transportation bill.
The Macomb Transit Center cost a total of 14 million dollars with 12 million in federal funding. The center i on the city of a former porcelin products factory on East Pierce.
The new center contains administrative offices, dispatch centers, and houses the McDonough County Public Transportation Program, including WIU's Go West bus system.