* 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.
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.
“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.
* WICS TV…
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.”