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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.5 Million to Upgrade Roads and Increase Capacity for Businesses on the Missouri-Illinois Border

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a more than $3.5 million grant to St. Clair County, Illinois to upgrade infrastructure in the River Bridge District to support business growth in East St. Louis, Illinois. According to grantee estimates, this project will save 747 jobs.

“The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring our nation’s infrastructure is able to support business growth and job creation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investments announced today will support development of this distressed region, attracting new businesses and enabling existing companies to retain jobs.”

According to the grantee, the River Bridge District has suffered from decades of disinvestment as a result of the high sulfur coal market’s collapse and manufacturers that have closed or relocated. New economic development is beginning to take hold as the businesses have developed in the River Bridge area, but the current infrastructure is not sufficient to support the development. EDA’s investment will support the rebuilding and enhancement of Front Street, Missouri Avenue, and B Street, which provide the critical connection to the interstate system, allowing access for high capacity, load, and logistical needs. This project will start the process of re-purposing existing assets and this community toward a new economic future based on logistics, distribution, and light manufacturing.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.