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Area Leaders Still Back Route 34 Expansion

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 243

Leaders from area groups and communities say they continue to back a proposed expansion of US 34 into a four-lane highway from Monmouth to Burlington.

The groups joined the Highway 34 Coalition at a rally yesterday at West Central High School to urge funding for the long-proposed expansion — a part of which is already underway with the construction of a six-mile, four-lane bypass around Biggsville. Money for the rest hasn’t yet been allocated.

Alicia Pence, Executive Director of the Stronghurst-based Family Outreach Community Center, says she’s working on an economic development project with some West Central High School graduates. That project could help that area gain economic development that could make the highway expansion an even better idea.

“We have a small group of young adults working on bringing economic development to that four-lane highway,” says Pence. “Putting up gas stations, bringing employment through having businesses along that highway, gas stations, places to eat, things to keep young adults here in the County, ways to keep us working in the County, keeping tax money here, that’s important.”

Pence says her husband uses US 34 every day to Galesburg for work.  So she is also aware of one of the other key reasons for making 34 four lanes:  safety.