SPRINGFIELD – Local governments will reap the benefits of a $250 million grant program that provides the opportunity to invest in long-overdue support for local road and street repair, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Wednesday.

“For far too long local governments have been forced to rely on patchwork projects to maintain outdated infrastructure,” Manar said. “Local governments know what work needs to be done in their communities better than anyone, and I am pleased they have been given increased funding to address critical needs.”

This announcement is the second in a series of six investments in local infrastructure being made through the bipartisan $33.2 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan, which Manar played an instrumental role in negotiating.

Funds will be distributed throughout the 48th District as such:

  • Counties: $2,538,175.15

  • Townships: $2,762,405.27

  • Cities & Villages: $3,724,483.99

Projects eligible for this grant program include road and bridge improvements, repaving, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers, bike paths, sidewalk replacements and pothole repairs. Projects will be selected and managed locally in cooperation with IDOT.

“Roads left unkept for too long can have devastating consequences for a community,” Manar said. “The projects resulting from this grant program will allow folks to travel throughout their community safely and they will create sorely needed jobs as we continue to navigate the crisis of the current moment together.”

A full breakdown of the grant money coming to the 48th District broken down by County, Township, and Municipality can be found here: https://bit.ly/3a0cYaz

5efccf7c5c4fb.previewSPRINGFIELD - Farmers and their families have the opportunity to complete a survey aimed to improve a wide range of services that will be available to them from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Farm Family Resource Initiative program in the coming months.

Manar, who chairs the Illinois Senate Appropriations II Committee, worked closely with fellow Downstate Democrats to include funding in this year’s state budget to address many of today’s challenges facing Illinois farmers.

“Farmers and farm families are the lifeblood of our state’s economy, and they face unique challenges,” State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “By prioritizing programs like the Farm Family Resource Initiative through a trusted partner like Southern Illinois University, we have the ability to reach out with support during this immensely difficult period.”

The goal of the survey is to improve the resources that will be available from the start of this program and to develop additional resources to best serve Illinois farmers. Once launched, the FFRI hotline will serve as a hub where callers can seek assistance with issues ranging from financial troubles to mental health concerns.

Manar is encouraging area farm families to access the survey online.

“Completing this survey gives the people who are implementing this program a clearer picture of what they ought to be working to deliver,” Manar said. “Farm families’ direct input is invaluable.”

SIU School of Medicine is specifically looking for farmers and members of farm families in Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Morgan, and Sangamon Counties to complete the survey at www.siumed.edu/farm.

ManarBUNKER HILL – Central Illinois communities will see more than $509 million in funding for road and bridge projects over the next six years as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Tuesday.

“Transportation infrastructure is indispensable to a strong economic future, and the unprecedented health crisis we’re facing makes the timing of the Rebuild Illinois plan all the more significant,” Manar said. “The plan will help our economy rebound by creating thousands of jobs for families set back by COVID-19, while supporting the work and safety of professional truck drivers who are the unsung heroes of our fight against COVID-19.”

Over $509 million in funding will support 172 projects between 2021 and 2026. Of the 172 projects, 37 will begin within the next year. Manar worked in collaboration with county and municipal leaders in his district to identify locations where infrastructure improvements were most needed.

The Multi-Year Plan will invest $21.3 billion statewide over the next six years to improve 3,356 miles of road and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck.

Passed in 2019, Gov. JB Pritzker’s historic and bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan is the largest capital program in state history. In its first year, the program improved 1,706 miles of roadway, and repaired or reconstructed 128 bridges across Illinois.

Manar led negotiation efforts on the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan on behalf of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus.

Projects included in the program were selected based on objective criteria, such as pavement conditions, traffic volumes and crash history.

Notable projects taking place in Manar’s district in the next 12 months are listed by county below:


  • 5.94 miles of road rehabilitation on Old Route 36 from Interstate 72 to 0.2 miles west of Harristown Boulevard, and on U.S. 51 from I-72 to 0.3 miles south of Cantrell Road
  • 2.7 miles of pavement rehabilitation on U.S. 51 from I-72 to Illinois 121 in Decatur
  • 0.74 miles of pavement rehabilitation on Illinois 121 and 22nd Street in Decatur from 0.1 mile south of Kile Street to the Garfield Avenue underpass in
  • Decatur
    5.95 miles of pavement reconstruction on I-72 from 4.4 miles west to .3 miles west of the Piatt County line

Christian County

  • 5.5 miles of pavement improvements on U.S. Route 51 from the Shelby County line to one mile north of Assumption


  • 6.77 miles of pavement rehabilitation on Illinois 159 from the Macoupin County line to 0.3 miles north of Illinois 140


  • 13.11 miles of pavement preservation on the Nokomis Blacktop from Illinois 127 to 0.2 miles east of E. 20th Road

martin luther king

“If our two movements unite their social pioneering initiatives, thirty years from now people will look back on this day and honor those who had the vision to see the full possibilities of modern society and the courage to fight for their realization,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., referring to the Civil Rights and Labor Movements, in a 1965 address at the Illinois State AFL-CIO’s 8th annual convention.

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 55 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his renowned speech at the Illinois State AFL-CIO’s 8th annual convention, in which he predicted that future generations would look back and honor those who sought to unite the Civil Rights and Labor Movements, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker) is leading an effort to make Dr. King’s words a reality.

Manar filed Senate Joint Resolution 67 this week, calling for a bronze plaque to be placed at the site of the historic address — the soon-to-be restored Illinois State Armory — to commemorate the civil rights icon’s legacy and visit to Springfield.

“Throughout modern history, few other movements have been more effective or more inspiring instruments of justice and equality. The Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement intersected through a timeless message by Dr. King that summons the same hope and vision for a stronger society today as it did in 1965, and it all took place in downtown Springfield,” Manar said. “That’s special and something to be celebrated.”

SJR 67 calls for the bronze plaque to be inscribed with the very words Dr. King spoke at the Armory on Oct. 7, 1965 – words that embrace organizational progress, justice, democracy, and a faith in God.

The speech was recorded and archived by the Illinois State AFL-CIO. Manar worked closely with AFL-CIO President Tim Drea to draft the resolution.

“We applaud Senator Manar for his efforts to celebrate the rich history of the Illinois State Armory. An important part of that history came during the Illinois AFL-CIO Convention in 1965, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a message that resonates 55 years later,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea. “Dr. King’s message of the transformational abilities of the Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement working together as a coalition of conscience has forever been memorialized in hearts and minds of our leaders. It is our job to ensure that his legacy is championed for generations to come.”

Manar says the memorial would capture a moment that connected Illinois workers with the national Civil Rights Movement during a pivotal era in American history, while also shedding light on the State Armory’s historic significance.

During the 20th century, the Armory was the site of gubernatorial inaugural addresses, speeches and events featuring historic leaders such as Muhammad Ali and Presidents John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman and Richard Nixon.

Illinois’ latest statewide construction plan sets aside $100 million for renovations to the State Armory, with the goal of restoring the facility as a usable office space and venue for conventions, theater productions, art exhibits, and other events.

“The Civil Rights and Labor Movements were both founded on creeds of justice, equality and human rights. They continue to be charged by solidarity among the disenfranchised classes,” Manar said. “These are principles that we should all strive to advance, in policy and practice. This tribute will serve as a reminder of that duty while celebrating this remarkable moment in state and American history.”

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