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Trump infrastructure plan could also boost rural and Quad City projects

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LE CLAIRE, Iowa - The view from the Interstate 80 bridge here is motivating a vision for the future.  Expansion plans are on the horizon, and President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan could help it to become reality.

It's part of a regional wish list included in long range planning.

"Interstate 80 and potentially six-laning that facility," said Gena McCullough, on Monday, February 12.  "We certainly want to finish I-74, and that whole corridor, including the John Deere Road connection on the Illinois side."

Inside the Bi-State Regional Commission, Planning Director McCullough keeps an eye on the future.  That includes lots of improvements and upgrades.

The president's plan would provide $20 billion over a decade nationwide, but it's expected to face an uphill battle in Congress.

"They're trying to capitalize, really, on some of the things that we do well," McCullough said.

There are plenty of projects on the local wish list: roads and bridges, passenger rail service, even lock and dam renovations along the Mississippi River.

"We've got two or three locks in our bi-state region," she continued.  "We know that they're aging and in dire need of repairs."

It will take federal, state and local partnerships to pull it off.  State governors would have more of a say in spending money that's earmarked for rural areas.

Remaining portions of the Interstate 74 bridge project illustrate the need for funding. The Trump plan could spark work from Kimberly Road to 53rd Street.

"We need a way to get from here to there, so all of these things support our lifestyle," she concluded.

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