For Rockford to challenge the status quo of its economy, it must compete for each and every opportunity to do so. One of the greatest opportunities won recently was the restoration of Amtrak service on the Black Hawk route from here to Chicago. Talk of restoring the Amtrak service between here and Chicago has been ongoing for 33 years. U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., knew how this service would be one of the keys to enhance the area’s economic growth today as well as re-establishing a direct rail connection with Chicago and the rest of the world. Bustos was there to help bring this connection into a reality.
From her seat in Congress on the Transportation Committee, Bustos has demonstrated that she can enhance Rockford’s ability to compete for similar projects. Governmental agencies such as the FAA have taken notice and have awarded more than $6 million to our airport’s infrastructure in the last year alone. But more significantly, businesses have also noticed, from American companies like Union Pacific to foreign companies like Nippon Sharyo, recognizing a renewed focus on the use of rail, for moving freight and passengers alike.
As negotiations with Canadian National Railway to extend service to Dubuque, Iowa, continue, I thank Bustos for keeping the focus on this most important link.
She is, most certainly, a competitor for each and every economic opportunity that comes up in her district, such as the $223 million Amtrak restoration. She has proven herself most capable of winning them for us, the people of the Rock River Valley. Keeping all of this in mind, we need to keep our support for Cheri Bustos on top of mind, by supporting her in any way we can.
George B. Graham Jr.
From the Aug. 27-Sept. 2, 2014, issue