Friday, May 23, 2008
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Blagojevich administration unveils $10.9 billion multiyear Highway Improvement Program

Bridge safety and maintenance of roads is focus of program

Approval of governor's Illinois Works capital plan would boost Illinois economy, create 700,000 jobs and allow for expansion of the road system

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[May 23, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- On Thursday, the Blagojevich administration unveiled a $10.875 billion multiyear Highway Improvement Program for fiscal 2009-2014 for the Illinois Department of Transportation. IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees stressed that without the additional infrastructure investment that would be provided by the proposed Illinois Works capital bill, plans to expand the state's transportation system to stimulate the economy and create jobs will remain on the shelf.

RestaurantApproval of the Illinois Works capital plan will trigger a $31 billion capital investment plan that will support more than 700,000 jobs, fix the state's deteriorating roads and bridges, build and repair schools across the state, and provide resources for statewide economic development.

"It's been nine years since Illinois has passed a capital investment plan," said Blagojevich. "If the General Assembly is serious about putting people to work and investing in our future, then I urge them to get behind Illinois Works. Send me a capital investment plan that I can sign, and let's get to work expanding and improving our transportation infrastructure, our schools and our economy."

Grass-roots support from labor, business and communities across the state for a capital plan has been coalescing behind the Illinois Works Coalition, a group co-chaired by former Speaker of the U.S. House Dennis Hastert and Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard.

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In IDOT's proposed multiyear plan, $7.79 billion will be for the state's highway system, while $3.08 billion will be for local roads. On the state system, $5.6 billion -- or almost three-fourths -- will be for roadway maintenance, safety and bridge repair. Funding for urban area congestion relief totals $1.54 billion, including $477 million for a new Mississippi River bridge crossing and connecting roadways in the Metro East area. A total of $633 million is targeted to expand the system with new roads to increase access and promote economic development.

"IDOT's proposed multiyear program is a bare-bones plan that focuses our resources on maintaining the state's network of roads and bridges and on safety improvements," said Sees. "However, as the severe winter we have just been through showed us, we run the real risk that our roads and bridges will deteriorate at an even faster pace unless we come up with the capital funding needed to stay ahead of the impact of the elements."


As a result of the toll that the harsh winter took on the road system, approximately $126 million of the fiscal 2009 annual program will be devoted to immediate resurfacing needs caused by accelerated pavement deterioration. These projects will address 264 miles of roadways and will be scheduled for this summer and fall.

Continuing a trend that was in place even before last year's tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota, IDOT is devoting an increased portion of funding to maintaining the state's bridge system. The percentage of the program devoted to bridges will increase to 24 percent, from 23 percent in the previous plan, for a total of $1.876 billion for bridge maintenance.

The proposed fiscal 2009-2014 Highway Improvement Program will:

  • Improve 5,264 miles of highways.

  • Replace or rehabilitate 905 bridges.

  • Target key projects in northeastern Illinois to address congestion, with funding to complete a project to add additional lanes and noise walls along Interstate 55 from Interstate 80 to Weber Road.

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  • Provide $477 million for construction of a new Mississippi River bridge in the Metro East area.

  • Provide for reinvestment in downstate Illinois for interstate highways such as Interstate 80 from the Henry County line to west of Illinois 251 in Bureau County.

  • Provide $431 million for local benefits programs to help cities, counties and townships improve local roads and support economic development.

  • Provide funding for railroad crossing safety improvements throughout the state, including funding for grade separation projects such as Andrews Drive Extension over U.S. Route 40 and the CSX Railroad east of Illinois Route 127 in Greenville.

  • Enhance highway safety as part of the department's regular highway improvements by targeting specific fatal and severe crash locations and addressing statewide safety concerns.


The fiscal 2009-14 program is based upon conservative estimates of federal, state and local funding, including $7.061 billion in federal funds, $3.128 billion in state funds and $686 million in local funds. The federal portion of the program is based upon anticipated levels established in the federal transportation legislation known as SAFETEA-LU.

IDOT's four main priorities for the fiscal 2009-14 state road building program are as follows:

  • System maintenance: $3.742 billion is scheduled for reconstruction, resurfacing and widening, and safety projects. This includes $681 million for interstate resurfacing projects and $332 million for safety improvements.

  • Bridge maintenance: $1.876 billion is scheduled to address bridge needs.

  • Congestion mitigation: $1.540 billion is scheduled to address traffic congestion. This includes $477 million for a new bridge over the Mississippi River near East St. Louis and connecting roadways.

  • System expansion: $633 million is scheduled to build new roads to increase access and for economic development. Few new major projects were added in this category.


For major project highlights, see pages 3-12 of the program announcement released Thursday.

The entire fiscal 2009-2014 program is available online at

[To download Adobe Acrobat Reader for the PDF files, click here.]

[Text from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]


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