Bennett 082321 2CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined local officials and community leaders in Champaign Monday to announce two important developments in the Champaign-Urbana community, including an investment in campus improvements at the University of Illinois and a major transportation infrastructure project made possible by the Rebuild Illinois program.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will receive $140 million in state funds, matched by $52 million in non-state funding for a total investment of $192 million. The funds will be used to construct a new, world-class facility and make large-scale renovations and updates to centrally located buildings.

"The University of Illinois is a pillar of the Champaign-Urbana community, and I'm thrilled to see students returning to campus this fall and see the beginnings of a newly renovated Illini Hall and Altgeld Hall on our campus," Bennett said. “This transformational redevelopment will serve current and future students and help the university continue to grow in the coming years.”

During the announcement, Bennett welcomed UIUC students back to school alongside University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones, Gov. JB Pritzker and other stakeholders.

Bennett 08.23 21 1Bennett then attended a groundbreaking ceremony, where the governor and Illinois Department of Transportation announced an additional $83 million investment in the region, representing the start of the construction on a new Interstate 57/74 interchange, which has also been made possible through the Rebuild Illinois program. 

"Continued investments in safe, modern and reliable infrastructure make for a brighter future for our region and the state as a whole,” Bennett said. “This critical funding will spur economic development and put people to work, ensuring our community can continue to prosper.”

The I-57/74 rebuild will replace a traditional cloverleaf interchange built in 1965 that no longer meets current traffic volumes and demands with a new design that includes two flyover ramps to improve traffic flow and efficiency for traveling in the region: Eastbound I-74 to northbound to I-57 and westbound I -74 to southbound to I-57. A third auxiliary lane will also be added to both directions of I-74 between Prospect and Duncan Road.

Upon completion in 2025, the new interchange will eliminate the merging, weaving and slow speeds of the existing structure, resulting in better travel times and much fewer conflicts between vehicles.

In addition to acting as gateways to the University of Illinois and manufacturing, logistics, health care and agricultural industries, I-57 and I-74 each serve almost 35,000 vehicles a day in Champaign-Urbana, nearly 25% of which are trucks.

Bennett is proud to bring these investments to the Champaign-Urbana community and is eager for the construction to take off.

Photo: State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) speaks about the investment in campus improvements at the University of Illinois in Urbana on Monday, August 23, 2021.

Photo: State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) attends a groundbreaking ceremony for a major transportation infrastructure project in Champaign on Monday, August 23, 2021.