DECATUR — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will highlight federal infrastructure investments in a visit to central and southern Illinois on Monday.
Buttigieg will make two stops in the Champaign area and one in East St. Louis, according to a media advisory. He will be joined by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski, D-Springfield.
Budzinski, in a telephone town hall meeting with constituents last week, said she was “excited” to bring Buttigieg to her congressional district.
Buttigieg’s first stop will be a news conference in Savoy, where he will highlight a recent $22.6 million federal grant for a grade separation project on Curtis Road just east of U.S. 45. Funds for the grant came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021.
Next, Buttigieg, Durbin and Budzinski will hold a “fireside chat” with students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign about the future of transportation infrastructure.
They will finish the day in East St. Louis touring a rail management facility operated by MetroLink, the mass transit system serving Greater St. Louis. Buttigieg is also expected to announce “major new funding” for the system.
Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and the former two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, before being tapped to serve as Biden’s transportation secretary, last visited Central Illinois in February 2022.
During that trip, Buttigieg toured Heartland Community College’s advanced training academy in Bloomington. The facility is designed to train students in the manufacture, diagnosis, service and repair of electric vehicles.
Photos: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits Bloomington-Normal