Illinois' $8.4 billion highway plan lacks long-term solutions

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released a six-year, $8.4 billion highway construction plan yesterday that repairs and improves state roads and bridges but fails to provide a long-term solution to the state’s infrastructure needs.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released a six-year, $8.4 billion highway construction plan yesterday that it says will repair and improve state roads and bridges but won't provide a long-term solution to the state’s infrastructure needs.

Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said a high-quality transportation network is a job creator and economic asset, but that just maintaining the state’s existing system will be a challenge because new projects will be difficult to undertake.

Of the program’s $8.4 billion, $1.85 billion will be invested in fiscal year 2016. While 83 percent of state highways and 93 percent of bridges are in acceptable condition today, by the end of fiscal year 2021, just 62 percent of Illinois highways and 86 percent of state bridges will be that category.

Based on current state and federal funding levels, the fiscal year 2016-2021 Proposed Highway Improvement Program is focused on maintaining the existing system by improving 1,431 miles of highway and 357 bridges.

Blankenhorn and IDOT have been on a statewide tour this month to learn about infrastructure needs and priorities from residents, businesses and stakeholders who rely on the state’s transportation system. A final report will be presented to the governor’s office and the General Assembly after the tour wraps up next week.

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Illinois Department of Transportation 2300 S Dirksen Pkwy Springfield, IL - 62764

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