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Illinois updates $41 billion multi-year construction program

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(The Center Square) – Illinois officials on Friday announced the state’s largest construction program in state history with an updated multi-year plan, which includes $41 billion for the state’s infrastructure.

The program looks to address railways, bridges, roadways and other means of transportation. Run through the Department of Transportation, the program is part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2019 “Rebuild Illinois” plan that is funded with tax and fee increases.

Included in the $41 billion is $27 billion for roads and bridges. A total of $13.96 billion will go for other means of transportation, including $9.85 billion for transit, $2.67 billion for freight and passenger rail, $1.25 billion for aviation and $190 million for ports and waterways.

Pritzker said this program will continue the efforts the state has already made in transportation improvements.

“Today, I could not be prouder to announce the IDOT’s MYP, multi-year program, our largest construction program in state history,” Pritzker said during a news conference in Springfield Friday. “Over the next six years, we’re investing over $40 billion to improve all modes of transportation across our great state. That means better roads and bridges, modernized transit and aviation, and expanded and faster passenger rail service. Rebuild Illinois has increased safety, efficiency and opportunities for residents all over the state, and over the next few years, we will keep building on that progress with all 102 counties of Illinois included in the multi-year program.”

State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, said the state’s current infrastructure needs major improvements.

“Because of the poor conditions of our state’s infrastructure, it is going to take a significant amount of time to get where we want to be,” McClure said. “But the last few years have been a great start.”

IDOT Secretary Omer Osman said the program is the most important project in the department’s history.

“This multi-year program we are releasing today is perhaps the most significant ever for the Illinois Department of Transportation, showcasing the real strength and impact of Rebuild Illinois,” Osman said. “At $41 billion over six years, it is the largest multi-year program in our state’s history.”

The program will also provide jobs for workers across the state by offering a number of construction positions.

“The bipartisan Rebuild Illinois program continues to create union jobs that provide middle-class wages, health care and retirement security in every region of Illinois,” said Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO.

In total, the program will cover 3,006 miles of roads and just over 9.8 million square feet of bridge deck on the state system and seeks to bring 96% of the state’s interstates up to acceptable conditions and 94% of bridges up to acceptable conditions.

The project breaks down into individual investments in many counties across the state. Among the projects, a total of $1.1 billion will go to Will County to rebuild a freight corridor and improve safety in high-growth areas. Multiple bridges, including aging, obsolete structures, will be replaced over the Des Plaines River. Capacity enhancements include auxiliary lanes and shoulders to be constructed in Joliet, New Lenox and Minooka. Washington County will get $112 million for resurfacing 20.2 miles and bridge repairs from Beaver Pond Creek to the Jefferson County line. Cook County will get $611.5 million for auxiliary lanes and additional ramps from Bessie Coleman Drive to I-90, improving safety and access to O’Hare International Airport.

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