Illinois considering naming portion of highway after Ray LaHood

Illinois drivers may soon be taking trips on the Ray LaHood Highway, if an effort in the state's legislature to rename a portion of a key interstate is successful.

A bill has been filed in the Illinois House of Representative to rename a part of Interstate 74 in Peoria after LaHood, who is retiring this year after serving four years as transportation secretary and 14 as a congressman from the city.

Despite his service in a Democratic administration, LaHood is a Republican. However, the bill to honor him with a highway designation is sponsored by a Democrat, Illinois state Rep. Jehan A. Gordon-Booth.

"Secretary LaHood has dedicated his career to improving Peoria and central Illinois," the legislation honoring LaHood says. "He served as the chief planner for the Rock Island-based Bi-Metropolitan Commission, as an aid to Congressman Tom Railsback and Congressman Robert Michel, and as a member in the Illinois House of Representative from 1982 to 1983."

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The bill notes that LaHood accepted President Obama's nomination to run the Transportation Department in 2009 and served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Congress.

If the bill is approved, the stretch of Interstate 74 in Illinois between Murray Baker Bridge and the Sterling Avenue exit would be renamed after LaHood.

LaHood "helped make possible the funding for the construction" of the stretch, the bill reads.

LaHood has said that he will step down from his transportation secretary when his replacement, current Charlotte Mayor Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE (D), is confirmed by the Senate.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing on Foxx's nomination next week.