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Still waiting on the fact check

Monday, Jul 15, 2019

* Gov. Pritzker in June

The fact is that a majority of the money from the infrastructure bill goes to Downstate Illinois. As you know, the many roads, the miles of roads all across the state, the bridges, the significant investment necessary, it’s in mostly Downstate Illinois. […]

Universities around the state are mostly, almost entirely in districts represented by Republicans. And that’s where hundreds of millions of dollars, in fact billions when you add it all up, are going. So, the money is getting distributed I think very fairly across the state.

At the time, I said I was looking forward to the fact check.

* Politifact tried

Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh responded to our inquiry not with details from a specific state plan but rather with some math and historical perspective, starting with the fact that the governor’s program dedicates 74% of funding to transportation projects. Well more than half of that, the summary of his plan details, is slated to go to roads and bridges.

“He was focused on roads and universities,” Abudayyeh said in an email. “Downstate roads make up the vast majority of the state’s roads and bridges.

“Of Illinois’ roughly 16,000 miles of IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) roadways, 83% are located Downstate,” she continued. “Historically, the traditional distribution of road funds has been approximately 55% going to Downstate projects, with the remaining 45% going [to] non-Downstate projects.”

While that statement dealt with transportation issues, neither Pritzker nor anyone in his office provided the information needed to back up the claim about the overall allocation of infrastructure money under the plan. So we won’t be rating it at this time. […]

Experts we spoke with confirmed the historic 55/45 funding split Pritzker’s office used to defend his claim, noting it’s been common practice for decades even though it isn’t prescribed by state law. […]

Our analysis of last year’s IDOT report bears out that trend. Estimated funds for projects in Cook County and its five collars comprised 41% of the department’s allocations for state roads and bridges over the six-year period.

So, I’m still looking forward to that fact check.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    We won’t know until IDOT gets its MYP out. Even then funding because the gas tax is indexed so the funding for a change goes beyond the MYP.

    I assume reverting in past plans goes on. As for downstate expressway funding. We know some continues on 67. Also 97 just west of Springfield.

    Also Gov just announced 24 between Canton and Peoria. I assume that spells the end of the more grand 336 plan …..He did not mention Illinois 29 or the ring road which was sort of the route 53 extension of Peoria.

    I assume if some legislators feel shortchanged we will head from them.


  2. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Some of the projects are outlined in the 2018 report-

    http://www.idot.illinois.gov/Assets/uploads/files/About-IDOT/Reports/2018_IDOT_Annual_Report.pdf

    As far as 336- I’m on that regularly, and two lanes appears to be more than enough for the amount of traffic currently on it. I do like not having to go through Macomb anymore. If there is a need in the future to make it 4 lanes, the land and some of the infrastructure is already there and available.


  3. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    There was a study to extend 336 to Peoria. With the expansion of 24 so close I expect that to not happen

    There were several 4 lane corridors under study but they almost all will need new Environmental Statements. Those go stale
    You can see them on IDOTs featured projects page.


  4. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    Other than the ones I mentioned there is one for US 20 IS 51 and Illinois 127 . That is part of St Louis Carbondale.
    There were studies on US 50 and IS 34. Both vanished

    IDOT cancelled US 30 and said it would fix the existing road and maybe add some passing lanes.
    They got a lot of money so transparency and exp!stations for their actions would be nice.


  5. - So be it - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    8.5 million only getting 45% of the funding and 4.5 million getting 55% of the funding hardly seems fair.


  6. - Just Me - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    If you do not include mass transit, then I would agree most transportation dollars are spent downstate. However, once you include funding for the state’s mass transit districts (most notably the RTA), it is about proportionally equal.


  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    ===However, once you include funding for the state’s mass transit districts===

    Wouldn’t bet too much money on that because of universities.


  8. - Just Me - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    Rich, I was referring to just transportation dollars.


  9. - Lurker - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    I have wanted for a long time for all of I80 and I55 to be no less than three lanes. I think that would help so much.


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