The studies will receive funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and have support from lawmakers and local officials.
The first study will cover industrial transportation and will be followed by one that examines infrastructure needs. The two state agencies will share the cost and the studies are expected to take about 18 months to complete.
Points to be covered in the reports include forecasted trends in freight movement and how they could affect the Decatur region's rail lines, industrial parks, brownfields and state and local highways. The goals of the recommendations would be to support overall economic growth and preserving livability for the area's residents.
IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider said, "This study will help to identify and create more seamless multi-modal transportation connections that will provide sustainable benefits to the environment and the community, while further enhancing the vital role freight plays in the local and state economies."