Illinois highway construction legislation underwhelms

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Illinois Paving
ROAD WORK AHEAD: Much of the Illinois Legislature’s recently passed $1.1 billion capital bill will be spent on paving and resurfacing.

$1.1B mostly for resurfacing, repairs

Springfield IL ­ The Illinois Legislature couldn’t agree on much in the session that just ended, but the chambers did get together to pass a $1.1 billion capital bill that will spin off highway construction projects throughout the state.

The work will be paid for using driver registration fees that were increased in the 1990s to repay road construction bonds. Some of those bonds have been paid off, freeing up some of the revenue to allow bonds for new projects.

Most of the work is for resurfacing, while some of it involves repairing or replacing old bridges.

Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said the projects are “shovel-ready” and already on the Department of Transportation’s five-year plan.

OFFICIALS UNDERWHELMED

STEWART
STEWART

Work totaling an estimated $49.6 million is planned for IDOT District 8, which covers the metro-east area.

District 9, covering southern Illinois, will get projects totaling $99.8 million.

Area officials were a bit underwhelmed by the totals.

“That won’t amount to very much for us,” said Dale Stewart, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Southwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council. “It’s just not much. But we have had our share over the years.”

Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) said he had hoped for a larger project list, and one that would include state facilities such as universities.

HOFFMAN
HOFFMAN

“You appreciate a program of $1.1 billion, but the past ones have been in excess of $10 billion,” he said. “There are other needs for the state, not just roads and bridges.”

He added: “It will provide needed jobs.”

DISTRICT 8

Projects in District 8 include:

• A new deck for the bridge that carries Illinois 4 over Interstate 55 in Madison County, $3 million.

• Resurfacing with bridge improvements for 10 miles of Interstate 64 in Washington County between the Clinton County line and Beaver Pond Creek, $22.4 million.

• Widening and resurfacing six miles of Illinois 3 in Jersey County from Grafton Hills Drive to Illinois 109, $8.8 million, with a utility adjustment at Grafton Hills Drive, $5 million.

• Resurfacing two miles of Illinois 4 in Randolph County from Stevenson Drive to Illinois 154, $1 million.

• Resurfacing 5.5 miles of Illinois 127/140 in Bond County from Sale Barn Ave. to the Illinois 140 junction, $2.5 million.

• Resurfacing five miles of Illinois 157/163 in St. Clair County from Paris Avenue in Cahokia to Interstate 255 in Alorton, $3.3 million.

• Resurfacing and patching about four miles of Illinois 159 in St. Clair County between Fountains Parkway and Rosewood Village, $3.5 million.

DISTRICT 9

Projects in District 9 include:

• Rubbilizing and overlay of 25 miles of Interstate 57 in Union, Johnson and Williamson counties, extending from near Illinois 146 to Old Illinois 13, in four separate projects with a total value of $52.7 million.

• Resurfacing five miles of Interstate 57 in Jefferson County from near Dix to the Marion County line, $7.8 million.

• Resurfacing 4.3 miles of Interstate 64 in Jefferson County from Interstate 57 to Illinois 142, $7.3 million.

• Resurfacing 22 miles of U.S. 45 in sections of White, Williamson and Johnson counties in four projects totaling $5.3 million.

• Replacing the bridge carrying Illinois 127 and 13 over Beaucoup Creek in Jackson County, $5.5 million.

• Resurfacing sections of state highways 1, 3, 14, 34, 37, 146 and 154, totaling about $21 million.

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