Illinois announces six-year program to invest $34.6 billion in transportation, infrastructure

Much of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s funding for this program is coming from the state’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, but almost $16 billion more is expected to come in from the federal government.

SHARE Illinois announces six-year program to invest $34.6 billion in transportation, infrastructure
The Dan Ryan Expressway and the Chicago skyline, photographed in July 2022.

The Dan Ryan Expressway and the Chicago skyline are seen in this photo last month.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Illinois is set to drive $34.6 billion into improving roads, bridges, airports, transit, rail and ports across Illinois over the next six years.

The Illinois Department of Transportation released details of the multi-year investment program on Friday.

Gov. J.B Pritzker said the program would direct $20 billion of that toward transportation, including 2,500 miles of roads and almost 10 million square feet of bridge deck.

Another $10 billion will go toward the state’s rail and transit systems, airports and ports.

Much of IDOT’s funding for this program is coming from the state’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, but almost $16 billion more is expected to come in from the federal government.

“Since I signed our historic, bipartisan infrastructure program into law, Rebuild Illinois has undertaken a massive transformation of our state’s transportation systems,” Pritzker said, calling the multi-year program “an investment in our future — one that leads to economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.”

Among the details:

• $6.36 billion for highway reconstruction and preservation.

• $6.4 billion for bridge improvements.

• $2.48 billion for system support, such as engineering and land acquisition.

• $1.55 billion for safety and system modernization.

“In Chicago, we’re reconstructing Bessie Coleman Drive to I-90, which will improve safety and access to O’Hare International Airport,” Pritzker said.

As the state enters its fourth year of Rebuild Illinois, IDOT has made about $8.6 billion in improvements statewide on 4,422 miles of highway, 412 bridges and 621 additional safety improvements.

“Look, for many, many years before I took office, the state underinvested in our infrastructure, and it was left to crumble.” Pritzker said. “It was costing drivers an average of over $500 a year in flat tires and wear and tear from potholes and misaligned pavement. And, it was costing us jobs.”

Pritzker also announced an additional program, separate from IDOT’s six-year plan, that will combine federal, state and local funds to go toward other modes of transportation. That includes $6.5 billion for transit, $2.5 billion for passenger and freight rail, $817 million for aviation and $150 million for ports.

“With this investment, Illinois is working toward its commitment to delivering equitable, data-driven solutions to our transportation and infrastructure needs,” said state Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), chairman of the IIlinois Senate Transportation Committee. “Coupled with federal funding, we will improve our infrastructure to ensure safety, accessibility, and responsible economic and environmental impact.”

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