ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced a $21.3 billion plan to improve roads and bridges in the state over the next six years.
The FY2021-26 multi-year plan aims to improve 3,356 miles of roads and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck. It was announced last year under Rebuild Illinois.
In Central Illinois, the Murray Baker Bridge, which connects Interstate-74 and Illinois Route 29 over the Illinois River from downtown Peoria to East Peoria, will receive $42.2 million for a reconstruction and construction phase.
Highlights from the first year of the plan show that I-74 will receive $32.7 million for bridge repairs and the construction phase. Likewise, I-55 will receive $34.1 million for the resurfacing and construction phase.
Officials said the program will create and support hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next six years for Illinois residents.
In the meantime, IDOT began multiple construction projects, including the ongoing $67 million Interstate 255 (I-255) rehabilitation project in St. Clair and Madison counties. Construction aims to fix one of the roughest roads in the state. By closing I-255 completely, IDOT will be able to complete the work in one construction season, which is expected to save $14 million that can be reinvested in other projects. The administration will look to replicate that approach across the state.
Pritzker said the state remains a hub for commerce and transit.
“We are the 5th largest economy in the United States and the crossroads for national and international companies who need our roads and airports and rail and rivers and people to move their products,” Pritzker said.
“Even in a pandemic – especially in a pandemic – our transportation systems connect the lives of our residents and our communities. Our roads and bridges deliver Illinoisans to work and home again, to school, to the pharmacy, to the doctor’s office. The Multi-Year Plan we’re announcing today provides funding to reconstruct over 3,300 miles of roads and over 8 million square feet of bridges – and, more importantly, create and support hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next 6 years for hardworking Illinoisans across our state.”
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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