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“We have neglected the roads and bridges for so many years, something like this had to be done”

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

* Background is here. Let’s take a look at the new IDOT plan

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.” […]

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.

* Tribune

Republican Sen. Don DeWitte, of St. Charles, said for years state leaders have allowed “critical infrastructure to crumble.”

“This capital plan is going to do exactly what its name promises to do — it will rebuild Illinois,” DeWitte said.

The infrastructure spending plan is being fueled in part by gas and cigarette tax hikes, as well as increased license plate fees. The motor fuel tax doubled to 38 cents per gallon and will be indexed to future inflation increases. Municipalities in Cook County were authorized to levy a separate 3-cents-per-gallon motor fuel tax, while the collar counties were permitted to raise their taxes on motor fuel up to 8 cents per gallon.

Rather than using a “worst-first” approach, the plan aims to “determine interim repairs to extend the life cycles of the state’s key roads and bridges.” Among the factors IDOT used in evaluating the projects to be included in the plan are pavement condition, crash history, average daily traffic and bridge condition.

* SJ-R

“There is no acceptance in anyway whatsoever, in fact a full-throated rejection by my administration, by this IDOT, of any of the deception, the corruption that has been uncovered or has yet to be uncovered,” Pritzker said. “We are being extremely focused and careful to make sure that every dollar that gets spent in this capital plan is done completely above board and done the right way and with taxpayers in mind. Every bit of this is receiving an extra focus, an extra lens, to make sure it is done above board and everything is on the up and up.”

Comptroller Susana Mendoza attended the news conference and said her office “will aim to break out as many of these payments as possible so that we can confirm that normal state spending is occurring.”

Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said the road plan is twice the size it would have been without the new capital plan passed last spring. The plan covers $23.5 billion of spending on road, bridges and other transportation projects over a six-year period. The total includes federal matching funds, but Osmon said the state will now be picking up a larger part of a project’s cost.

“That will give us the flexibility of matching any federal fund,” he said.

* Center Square

Pritzker said the state is also using a federal Transportation Asset Management Plan standard.

“Many other states have been working toward that standard, we are for the first time working toward that standard,” Pritzker said. “What does that mean? It means we’re saving a lot of money for taxpayers as we’re focusing on our roads and bridges.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation said TAMP is “a strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining, and improving physical assets, with a focus on engineering and economic analysis based upon quality information, to identify a structured sequence of maintenance, preservation, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions that will achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair over the lifecycle of the assets at minimum practicable cost.”

Illinois’ TAMP was accepted by the federal government in August.


Sangamon County will see seven projects, including adding new lanes on interstates, bridge replacements and a new pedestrian overpass. […]

“I wasn’t excited about the 19 cents, I was hoping for a little bit less than that,” Rep. Mike Murphy, R-Springfield, said. “But we have neglected the roads and bridges for so many years, something like this had to be done and I really do think it’s going to be a game changer for the state of Illinois.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Merica - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    most of the money is spent in downstate illinois, replacing/fixing bridges and roads that fewer people use. it’s not a “game changer” because fixing the roads and bridges aren’t going to bring businesses and people to Lincoln, Illinois, or Decatur, or Jacksonville or Danville. Those places will have new roads and bridges and will continue to shrink and lose population and business.

    this money could have been spent on expanding metra and cta lines, making high speed rail a reality, reducing traffic congestion into Chicago.

    this money could have been spent partially fixing the pension mess.

    instead, it’s wasted

  2. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    “I wasn’t excited about the 19 cents, I was hoping for a little bit less than that,”

    Then you should have countered with removing or reducing the state sales tax rate on motor fuel.

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Merica, you are truly goofy. Even if no longterm jobs are created in, say Decatur, fixing the roads and bridges helps the commerce of the entire state and region.

    The IDOT plan is separate from the public transit plan.

    And you want to raise the Motor Fuel Tax to borrow money to fund the pensions? That would be unconstitutional in this state.

    Go back to bed.

  4. - In The Burg - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    Actually…this is the first time a dedicated amount of funds from the gas tax (20%) is being sent directly to transit. As far as subsidizing downstate, I’ve lived both places and an immense amount of goods travels our roads (think heavy equipment from Deere and Cat and all the grain).

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    I believe my gas, today, is a lower price than before the tax was instituted, in my local area.

    Yet, that 19 cents is still being taken.

    Measuring a commodity like that is silly… both ways. That’s my point.

    We need this infrastructure. Need. Not optional, not a luxury.

  6. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    “I wasn’t excited about the 19 cents”

    Gas prices are thankfully low enough that the tax hike is less perceptible. The Trib’s Hurricane freaked out badly about the gas tax hike, imploring her followers to send her their gas receipts. Wonder how that’s coming along, as well as her email list she’s building to fight back against Pritzker (who got almost 2 1/2 million votes).

  7. - efudd - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    The fruit from this plan is already evident in Anna. The re-surfacing of Rt 146 through town to Jonesboro made this little burg look 100 percent better.
    Browsing through the IDOT plan, Union county is set to receive over 48 mill. Some will go to I-57, but quite a bit will go toward Old and new 51 and Rt 3. Not to mention some much needed bridge replacement.

    You want things, you pay for them.

  8. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    We need it no doubt But I would like more transparency in project selection especially since they say it prevent corruption.

  9. - Wylie Coyote - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    Merica can go around in circles on mass transit all she wants in the Chicago area. But to haul all of Chicago’s garbage to the downstate landfills you have to have decent downstate roads.

  10. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    $86 million for bridge replacement over the Illinois river at Florence, IL is expensive but sorely needed. That old lift draw bridge is in terrible condition, suffers repeated lengthy closings for repairs because parts have to be individually manufactured and has been hit by barges on several occasions after the lift mechanism breaks. Always a white-knuckle experience whenever I drive over it

  11. - ike - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    I will agree with merica that a lot of this funding should be used to make Metra a modern public transportation system, instead of the third rate terrible Metra we have currently. A better Metra would have more riders and free up some of the road congestion going into and out of the city.

  12. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    “The fruit from this plan is already evident in Anna.“

    Excellent. The fruit of legal marijuana will also be evident in Anna, as the city voted to allow sales.

  13. - efudd - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    Yes, they did, unanimously.
    If the sales at Thrive are any indication, Anna is looking at approx 150,000 annually in sales tax.
    That ain’t hay down here.

  14. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    ==because fixing the roads and bridges aren’t going to bring businesses and people==

    And you think leaving the state’s infrastructure in a state of disrepair will? You do understand that interstate commerce flows through the entire state don’t you? And that the state needs good roads and bridges in order to be able to conduct that commerce.

  15. - Merica - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:00 pm:


    i’m trying to sell my house in Central Illinois. I recently spoke with my realtor, he said “whatever you do, don’t put any money into your house, you won’t get it back.” he said the population is shrinking as retirees move to warmer climates and millennials move closer to cities.

    if it doesn’t make sense for me to invest here, why would it make sense for a chicago taxpayer? also, this isn’t an Illinois thing, it’s happening in every state.

    i would also dispute the idea that our roads are in disrepair. Illinois roads are better than Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, TN, and Mississippi, states i’ve driven through recently.

  16. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    Transit users (of which I am one), don’t fret. Metra will be buying a lot of new cars and locomotives with its share of capital $, as well as making many needed repairs. The Chicago-Rockford and Chicago/Quad Cities rail projects, also funded with capital bill $, will provide new srail services to areas that currently don’t have it.

  17. - efudd - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    “Illinois roads are better than Missouri”

    I drive to Missouri weekly. Our roads are better, and that ain’t nothing to brag about.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    We’re investing in our state, our infrastructure lifeline. We are a hub in the Midwest. Those who are unhappy with our improvement efforts, and paying for them, can leave. Sure beats futile whining, especially for those on the receiving end.

  19. - Fixer - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    Merica, you need a better realtor it seems.

  20. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    If you think fixing our bridges isn’t a good and very needed investment, then watch these two programs and get back to me. I’m not looking forward to the Murray Baker being shutdown next year, but I’d rather be able to keep driving over it once its replaced than to possibly land in the River someday. But hey, that’s just me;)

  21. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    Efudd. I travel to st. Louis twice a week for chemo. The roads seem no different in mo vs ill.

  22. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Merica, I just sold my central Illinois house in three weeks and got about what I expected. Turned around to buy another house in Central Illinois to be closer to millenial children who have great jobs in Central Illinois. Get a different realtor. Stop watching Fixer Upper.

    Also just spent 5 days traveling I90 to Washington. Roads along the way were very comparable to Illinois and were heavy with semis and farm trucks. How do you think the food and products you buy get to the metro areas? We need good roads and transport systems statewide

  23. - Jibba - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Merica, about 4 million people live and work in greater “downstate”. The businesses and people here need decent infrastructure. Roads and bridges need repair, and there are many miles and structures that need to be maintained. The actual condition is not always apparent. Many communities are doing quite well here. Sorry yours is not, but don’t sell us all short. Chicagoland cannot hold us all.

  24. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    Question about I-55 Sangamon Bridge project. IDOT is allocating $137.4 million for I-55 from north Sangamon Ave. to south of Williamsville, including ” … a bridge replacement, bridge widening, bridge new deck … .” Translated from IDOTese to plain English, does this mean the I-55 bridge across the Sangamon River will increase from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction?

  25. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 5:00 pm:

    Anyone Remember- this might help ( maybe)

  26. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    They’re finally going to build a new bridge at Beardstown.
    And Merica,if your realtor said that they are dead wrong.

  27. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 6:42 pm:

    That bridge is needed badly and they are leaving right of way for 4 lanes. I would like them to do that with the rest of the corridor and make it 3 lanes.

  28. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:03 pm:

    Where is the plan for a multimodal system? Isn’t Illinois one of the most complex systems that needs a plan?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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