This highway was established in 1961 to provide an alternative route from Interstate 55 between Sikeston, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois by bypassing the heavily traveled area of St. Louis. Completing the final section in December of 1971, it was the biggest
infrastructure project in Southern Illinois. It spurred development and investment all while rejuvenating a dwindling population in rural cities along the route. Much like President Obama and his 2008 campaign slogan of “Change We Can Believe In”, Interstate
57 served a vital role in changing dying cities by revitalizing their communities through economic growth and development.
From Barack Obama’s start in the Illinois State Senate to his historic 2008 election as the first African-American President, Barack Obama has had an immeasurable impact on both the people of Illinois and the United States as a whole. To recognize President
Obama’s historic accomplishments, I hope you will join me in renaming the portion of Interstate 57 in Illinois the “Barack Obama Highway.”