Illinois unveils 6-year, $92 billion roadwork plan


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Originally Posted Online: April 30, 2012, 4:40 pm
Last Updated: May 01, 2012, 9:48 am
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The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration announced plans Monday to repair 2,300 miles of roadway and 500 bridges over the next six years, using the last of the money available from a massive public-works program.

The Transportation Department unveiled a $9.2 billion road plan through 2018 that Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says sets the stage for transportation planning into the middle of this century.

It represents the first step toward universal planning for various modes of transportation — highway, air and rail — and job-training that anticipates huge projects so that workforces are ready to go when ground is broken, Schneider said.

The goal is "to provide the best transportation possible for the people of Illinois to ensure mobility not only for travelers and commuters but also for freight movement," Schneider said.

The program represents a 20 percent reduction from the multiyear plan announced last year, including $6.5 billion in federal money, a 10 percent dip from last year.

There is $2.2 billion in state funds, including $1.2 billion from the Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program, the last installment from the plan approved three years ago to aid infrastructure improvement. Local governments will provide $454 million.

Schneider said the program should create or sustain 120,000 jobs during the six years.

IDOT says its latest plan provides $3 billion to rebuild and improve roads, $1.5 billion to repair or replace bridges, $1.4 billion to relieve traffic congestion and $756 million to build new roads.

The agency will continue to focus on bridge improvements. Schneider said 92 percent of bridges in the state are considered acceptable or better, a rate that will remain unchanged. But there will be less money for road upgrades, so that instead of 88 percent of roads considered acceptable or better, as is the case now, that number will slip to 68 percent by 2018.

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