ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced Tuesday morning $1 billion in funding has been distributed to tackle transportation needs throughout the state.
Millions of those dollars will go to support infrastructure improvement throughout counties, cities and towns in Central Illinois.
The money comes in six disbursements over three years, with this current round being the fourth disbursement. Highway/road departments can choose to spend the money as they get it or save it up for bigger projects, as long as it’s spent by 2025.
McLean County is set to receive $1,006,379.49 in Rebuild Illinois grant money. County engineer, Jerry Stokes said the McLean County Highway Department is not spending the money just yet.
“We’re actually saving all the funds for this one particular project. The project is $8 million and we’re looking to spend around $3-$4 million of these Rebuild Illinois funds,” Stokes said.
Stokes said the big project it will be spent on is a road widening of County Road 23 (Meadows Rd.); it’s a 5.5 mile stretch of roadwork which will begin next year, starting in Lexington up to Route 24 near Meadows, Illinois.
“It’s kind of our rougher roads and it needed the pavement widened and dishes needed to be widened and we thought it was a good project to use this type of funding on,” Stokes said. “We’ve also received Truck Route Access Program funds and so this road is going to be an 80,000lb year round route to allow traffic back and forth to the elevators and to state routes that generate truck traffic.”
As part of this, the city of Bloomington is receiving $841,483.41 and over in the town of Normal, $576,626.48 will goes towards resurfacing and redesigning roads like Gregory Street (near Adelaide and Main) and Towanda Avenue (near Vernon) and West College (near Rivian Motorway).
Town of Normal engineer Ryan Otto said the council and staff decide each year which capital projects are the priority to get done right away.
“Without these funds, some of the projects may have been delayed as well as some reduced funding for street resurfacing. But with the funds, we’re able to advance all the projects as well as increase the monies allocated to street resurfacing throughout the community,” Otto said.
Otto said the town is spending this year’s funds as soon as they can, with roadwork slated to begin on Gregory Street next week, on Towanda Ave in June and already in progress on West College.
“All the projects are actually underway right now, so the money is being put to use as we speak,” Otto said.
“In a sign that Illinois is overcoming years of dysfunction, we put together a bipartisan-backed Rebuild Illinois plan to build new roads and bridges and ports and airports and to fix existing ones,” Pritzker said.
“It’s the largest infrastructure investment in Illinois’ history. While other Midwestern states struggle to modernize, Illinois is passing them by. Already, our Rebuild Illinois plan has improved over 3,000 miles of highways, completed over 180 bridges, and launched hundreds more projects. But Rebuild Illinois isn’t just about building gleaming new state roads and bridges. It’s also about fixing local roads and bridges that make a big difference in people’s daily lives. Government ought to be all about making life better for our families and our communities right where we live. That’s why I’m so excited to be here in Champaign to announce $250 million in new grants for counties, municipalities, and townships – bringing our total funding for these grants through Rebuild Illinois to $1 billion.”Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
The state is investing a total of $1.5 billion split up into six installments over the course of three years. The investments are meant to advance municipal, township, and county projects across the state.
$38 million in grant funding is headed to local counties.
Peoria County will receive $12,262,113 in total, while Tazewell County will receive $9,959,013. Woodford County is getting $3,677,592, and McLean County will see the largest amount with $14,030,151.
With summer construction season around the corner, those projects include road and bridge improvements, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers, and bike paths, sidewalk replacements, and other long-term maintenance needs. IDOT will provide financial oversight for the projects.
“At IDOT, there is no such thing as a federal road, a state road, a county road, or a township road. They are all Illinois roads that the public depends on each day,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Because of the vision of Gov. Pritzker, Rebuild Illinois is making historic investments in our local transportation system. Working together with our partners, we are strengthening all modes of transportation across all jurisdictions.”
The complete list of local agencies and awards can be viewed here.