President's Corner

January 2018 Building Opportunities for the Next Generation

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Governor Quinn Announces $14 Billion Transportation Plan

On Wednesday, April 9th, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn unveiled details of Illinois’ $14 billion, five-year transportation funding plan. While this plan will offer more than $8 billion in funding dedicated to roads and bridges, Quinn used the opportunity to highlight the need for a more sustainable long-term funding method for capital plans.

The plan for fiscal years 2015 through 2020 includes $8.6 billion for roads and bridges, $3 billion for rail, $1.9 billion for mass transit and $300 million for airports. In all, the program will improve 1,845 miles of highway.

“A booming economy requires a 21st century infrastructure,” Quinn said in the announcement. “Our infrastructure plan will create thousands of construction jobs now while paving the way for more jobs and economic development in the future.”

While the maintenance of our existing roads is of importance to our state, more significant investments are needed, says Local 150 president-business manager James M. Sweeney. “When we repave our highways, in many cases, we are paving over a base laid during President Eisenhower’s presidency,” Sweeney said. “We have to find a new way to properly invest in our roads, because fuel efficiency an alternative fuels have rendered the gas tax unsustainable.”

Quinn has committed to form a committee as quickly as possible to formulate a capital plan to replace the $31 billion “Illinois Jobs Now!” plan, which expires at the end of the year.

Some of the highlights of the announced plan include:

  • $308 million for the reconstruction of the I-74/US-6 bridge in Moline
  • $222 million to establish new intercity rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities
  • $132 million into the Englewood Flyover to relieve rail congestion
  • $108 million in bridge repairs on I-55 in Chicago
  • $76.4 million in bridge replacements along I-80 in Will County
  • $65 million in work on Route 47 in Kendall County
  • $60 million for a new rail station in South Elgin
  • $36 million for improvements to I-57 in Kankakee
  • $30 million to reconstruct Route 2 and North Main Street in Rockford

 

Land acquisition will also continue in the area surrounding the planned South Suburban Airport.


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