LaHood backs Lee County Highway Department in seeking funds for new facility

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria

DIXON — A $7.9 million Lee County Highway Department project for a new complex and maintenance shop in Amboy is getting support from U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood.

LaHood submitted the project to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Community Project Funding for fiscal 2025, Lee County Administrator Jeremy Englund said.

The Community Project Funding request is for $4.9 million, Englund said. County officials still are working to determine where the rest of the funding will come from, but knowing more than half of the project could be funded substantially reduces the county’s burden, he said.

The funding would be a tremendous win for Lee County, “its constituents, and our hardworking Highway Department, which diligently maintains over 220 miles of roadway and bridges while assisting 22 townships in our region,” Englund said. “Securing this support not only underscores the importance of our project but also highlights the commitment of Congressman LaHood to the growth and improvement of Lee County.”

In a letter to U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole and ranking member Rosa DeLauro, LaHood said the project will increase the Lee County Highway Department’s ability to preserve and maintain the roads and bridges under its jurisdiction.

“As the U.S. Representative for the 16th Congressional District of Illinois, I will always work to return federal dollars and resources to our state and region,” LaHood said in an email to Shaw Local. “The Lee County Highway Department Building Construction project is a prudent use of federal funding because it will enhance the Highway Department’s ability to maintain and preserve key transportation infrastructure in central Illinois. I look forward to advocating for the funding of this project through the Appropriations process.”

The existing Lee County Highway Department facility is located at 1629 Lee Center Road, Amboy. That facility is “very old and blighted,” Englund said. It also is landlocked with no room for expansion to allow them to meet the growing needs of Lee County residents and is located within the floodplain of the Green River, he said.

County officials have been working for at least three years to find a new location and secure funding to build a new highway facility, Englund said. The proposed location for a new facility is on U.S. routes 30 and 52, Englund said.

“It’s going to be a centralized location where we could efficiently and effectively serve the county better,” he said.

They currently are working off a three-year plan for a new facility, but if they get the funding LaHood requested, it will allow them to expedite that plan, Englund said.

“Hopefully this all keeps moving forward and we have a new facility within a few years,” he said.

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Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.