A six mile stretch of I-74 through Peoria is now the "Ray LaHood Highway."
More than 100 people attended a dedication ceremony Wednesday afternoon in the shadow of the Murray Baker bridge to honor LaHood, a former congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary. The Ray LaHood Highway spans from the Murray Baker bridge to Sterling Ave., a section of road for which LaHood secured improvement funding during his time in congress.
Gov. Pat Quinn praised LaHood for that project and the hundreds of others he championed as a public official.
"Whether it's planes, trains, automobiles, or boats, he's our man," Quinn said, touting LaHood's willingness to cross the aisle to get things done. "There are no Republican roads, there are no Democratic roads, there are American roads."
As Transportation Secretary, LaHood oversaw improvement projects on 350,000 miles of highway, 20,000 bridges, and 5,000 miles of railroad. LaHood thanked everyone for the honor, but said he couldn't have accomplished anything without the diligent work of local officials.
"While my name may be on the sign, all of the people who worked on this share in that kind of honor," LaHood said.
He specifically thanked State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth for her work in introducing the joint resolution to rename the road after LaHood. Her proposal, which was sponsored in the Illinois Senate by Dave Koehler, was adopted unanimously on Nov. 7, 2013.