Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker stood in front of two orange work trucks and a fleet of yellow-vested construction workers as he and speakers from both parties hailed the plan as one that would stimulate the state’s economy and usher in a new era of bipartisanship and effective government in Illinois.
Acting IDOT Secretary Omer Osman, a Pritzker appointee, said slightly more than $9 billion of the $23.5 billion that will be spent from fiscal years 2020-2025 will come from the federal government, about 39 percent of the total funding. He said the passage of the so-called horizontal infrastructure bill — dealing with roads and bridges rather than buildings —this May upped the state’s contribution to the multi-year plan from 12 percent to 58 percent.
The money will go toward maintaining 4,212 miles of roadways and 9.2 million square feet of bridges, according to the governor’s office. The projects on the list were identified “based on the principles of asset management” to “maximize system performance and minimize lifecycle costs.”
Factors that help determine which projects will be completed and the order of construction include crash history, pavement condition, average daily traffic and bridge condition.
“This is a big change from how previous capital programs have done this in the past when the state would let roads and bridges deteriorate so thoroughly that repairs have cost taxpayers far more than if they’d been maintained to a minimum standard,” Pritzker said. “Instead, we are embarking on a new regimen of investing on the front end. This is a historic improvement which will save taxpayers potentially billions of dollars over the long run.”
According to the governor’s office, 75 percent of the funds are allocated to reconstructing and preserving roadways and bridges, while 16 percent is dedicated “to strategically expanding the system in areas where data have shown the investment will be highly effective.” The rest will go to “necessary traffic and safety improvements.”
In total, $7.58 billion will go toward roadway reconstruction and preservation, $4.99 billion to bridge replacements and repairs, $1.59 billion to “safety and system modernizations,” $3.08 billion to strategic expansion of the system and $2.11 billion for system support such as engineering and land acquisition, according to the governor’s office. Read the rest of the story.