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Rauner starts cutting ribbons

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* It’s an election year, after all…

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced a plan today to invest $11.05 billion in the state’s roads and bridges over the next six years, including $2.2 billion of state and federal funding in the upcoming fiscal year. The Illinois Department of Transportation Multi-Year Proposed Highway Improvement Program will focus on projects that provide the greatest economic benefit to communities and take advantage of long-term strategies that save money over time.

“Investing in transportation creates jobs and economic opportunity, improves safety and makes Illinois a better place to raise a family,” Rauner said. “This plan will make Illinois more competitive while protecting the interests of the taxpayers.”

The governor announced the plan’s release at Peoria’s McClugage Bridge at eastbound U.S. 150, which will be replaced in 2019 at a cost of $205 million with the completion of the final design this year. Based on current funding levels, the FY2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program aims to improve a total of 1,945 miles of miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the state. The multi-year program also includes funding for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges.

Other plan highlights include:

    $26 million toward the reconstruction of U.S. 20/Rockford Bypass in Rockford
    $36 million to replace and repair the Third Street exit and ramps to Martin Luther King Drive in East St. Louis
    $12.7 million for additional lanes on 4.5 miles of Interstate 57 from Johnson City to West Frankfort
    $148.4 million for bridge work and other improvements on Interstate 80 through Will County

This multiyear plan is the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) first to embrace asset management strategies that commit to smaller repairs avoiding the higher costs of deferred maintenance. Using this approach, IDOT will realize savings over multiple years to eventually invest in other projects throughout the state. The plan also builds upon the latest in data-driven tools to help identify projects that provide the most value to the public while improving quality of life and regional mobility.

“At the governor’s direction, IDOT continues to innovate in how it chooses which projects to build,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “This is a plan that gets the state on the right track toward truly meeting the needs of our communities and building a 21st century system of transportation.”

That McClugage Bridge replacement, among lots of other stuff, was in the governor’s capital plan he unveiled in February.

* From the Civic Federation’s analysis of that capital plan

Illinois has not had a major capital program since 2009. The FY2019 capital budget includes a total of approximately $16.8 billion in new and reauthorized projects but does not include any new revenue sources or increases in existing sources or propose a comprehensive capital improvement plan with a clear prioritization of projects. […]

Revenues Projects funded using bond proceeds make up $6.9 billion of the total proposed spending in FY2019, while $9.9 billion are pay-as-you-go projects financed with currently available State and fede ral resources. 245 The largest single source of pay-as-you-go funding comes from the federal government. Federal funds support $1.6 billion of new projects and $2.8 billion of the reappropriations, for a total of $4.4 billion in capital funds. The State collects the remaining pay-as-you-go funding through user taxes and fees including motor fuel taxes, vehicle fees, licensing and other related charges. The FY2019 capital budget includes $2.6 billion in new projects and $2.9 billion in reappropriations funded by State sources. […]

Total appropriations in the State’s capital budget have declined to approximately $14.1 billion in the enacted FY2018 capital budget from $29.1 billion in FY2010. Total appropriations would grow under the Governor’s FY2019 recommended budget to $16.8 billion. Due to the addition of new projects and the lack of a comprehensive capital improvement plan to explain the annual prioritization and completion of projects, it is unclear which of the original projects have been completed and how much of the current budget represents additional authorizations passed in the intervening years

…Adding… DGA…

In a fitting bit of symbolism, Governor Bruce Rauner today announced the state’s new six-year infrastructure plan in front of a bridge that’s been slated for replacement since 2013. But the announcement also comes after years of Bruce Rauner entirely failing to manage the infrastructure of the state, leaving us with a system rated “C-Minus” and costing drivers $16 billion a year.

Rauner’s three-year budget crisis and consistent mismanagement left the state’s infrastructure to deteriorate, and increased fares and reduced service on Illinois’ mass transit systems. In a memorable day just last year, all work stopped on Illinois’ roadways as Rauner’s budget impasse temporarily put 20,000 construction workers out of work. Rauner vetoed a bipartisan budget that would have put people back to work the next day.

“Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership shifted the state’s infrastructure system into reverse,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner will spend the next six months desperately trying to distract from his failed record, but press stunts and empty promises won’t change the fact that his budget crisis stalled progress in the state.”


  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    A really savvy campaign crew would look at all these ribbon cuttings and look at Rauner never signing budgets and Rauner not funding projects with his signature via agencies, budgets, even legislation that requires monies from a budget, you guessed it, Rauner himself vetoed.

    A real savvy campaign crew would make it very clear…

    “Rauner vetoed that”

    … by vetoing budgets, funding mechanisms, or refusing to fund his own state agencies.

    We’ll see.

  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    They convinced the governor to cut the ribbon by telling him it was autism funding.

  3. - BlueDogDem - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    Some more “data-driven” government spending. Golly gee whiz. I love that buzz phrase.

  4. - Annonin' - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    The good news is GovJunk is prancin’ around somewhere other than SPI while the leaders finish up on the budget. Hope he keeps driving north.

  5. - Aimtomisbehave - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    I-57 is a deathtrap for motorcyclists in that area. Most of them have been diverting on to RT 37 to avoid the traffic.

    Here’s hoping the new lane makes it a little less congested through there.

  6. - Huh? - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    So IDOT budget is flat for FY 2019. FY 2018 funding was appropriated by the GA at $2.2 billion.

  7. - One Time - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    He is cutting ribbons on projects he didn’t approve?

  8. - Augie - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    Not even close to addressing Illinois infrastructure needs.

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    –He is cutting ribbons on projects he didn’t approve?–

    Ain’t it cool?

  10. - cc - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    Will this mean big raises for his allegedly ghost IDOT employees?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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