SAVOY, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg made a visit to Central Illinois on Monday to talk about a major road that will make life safer in Savoy.

The village wants to build an underpass at the railroad crossing at Dunlap Avenue and Curtis Road. Pillage President John Brown has heard about this idea since the mid 2000’s.

“I first got appointed to the board of trustees back in 2005,” Brown said. “And it was a topic then.”

But they never had the money to do it. That is, until now, thanks to a $22 million federal grant.

“This project will not only improve transportation safety, but also serve as a catalyst for future economic growth along Curtis Road,” Brown said.

Buttigieg came to Savoy to highlight the project. The grant came from the new Federal Infrastructure Plan.

“Maybe not everybody knows where Curtis Road is,” Buttigieg said. “But everybody here knows how important it is to do this long-sought-after project to make sure that vehicles and pedestrians and trains can move around this area more safely and more fluidly.”

Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski joined Buttigieg. Durbin said all of the work the town put into this project is what got it across the finish line in Washington.

“I can’t tell you how many people say ‘I wish we could do something about the railroad crossing, the noise that’s made, the safety of the whole situation,'” Durbin said. “But they can’t get the community to come together for a project. That is critical.”

The proposed underpass and the extra lane on Curtis Road would make it safer for people walking along this sidewalk. It would make it easier for emergency crews to get to the other side of the village, and it would probably lighten traffic on an Illini game day as well.

“I can remember a number of times when the fire department, that we had to either wait for the train to pass through or we went down to Windsor Road, which obviously adds time to the response,” Brown said.

Savoy village officials said they won’t be breaking ground on the project until 2026. They plan to have it done by 2028.