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Local

Paving the way for infrastructure improvements

Almost $40 million budgeted for roads, bridges in 38th District

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, recently announced her constituents will begin seeing the benefits of almost $40 million worth of improvements to the 38th District’s roads and bridges during the next fiscal year.

The projects are part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Improvement Program that assesses and prioritizes projects over a six-year span. The 2019 fiscal year’s efforts will be comprised of 25 projects estimated to cost $39.7 million.

“Infrastructure is the lifeblood of an economy. Ensuring our roads and bridges are in working condition is vital to jobs, safe travel and business. IDOT’s plan for our region this upcoming fiscal year will create hundreds of good-paying jobs and will help all of us get to our destinations safely,” Rezin said in a press release.

From 2020-2024, IDOT has scheduled 66 projects within the 38th District covering 83.79 miles budgeted to cost $319.8 million.

Roadway and bridge repairs for the upcoming fiscal year will take place in LaSalle, Wilmington, Minooka, Joliet and New Lenox, as well as in several areas of LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam and Grundy counties.

These projects are related to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recently announced plan to invest $11 billion in the state’s roadways over the next six years, including the $2.2 billion of state and federal funding for the projects of the upcoming fiscal year.

Projects are chosen by which will provide the most economic benefit to local communities, and IDOT is utilizing approaches that will be the most cost-effective.

“Investing in transportation creates jobs and economic opportunity, improves safety, and makes Illinois a better place to raise a family. This plan will make Illinois more competitive while protecting the interests of the taxpayers,” Rauner said in a press release.

Based on current funding, IDOT’s six-year plan is hoping to improve a total of almost 2,000 miles of road and 525 bridges that are maintained by the state. More than 750 miles of local roads and more than 900,000 square feet of local bridges are included in the program’s plans.

“At the governor’s direction, IDOT continues to innovate in how it chooses which projects to build. This is a plan that gets the state on the right track toward truly meeting the needs of our communities and building a 21st-century system of transportation,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said.

According to Rauner’s press release, this multiyear plan is IDOT’s first attempt to use asset management strategies committed to smaller repairs to avoid the higher costs of deferred maintenance. IDOT plans to use the money saved by this approach to help fund future projects throughout the state.

“Our region still has a long way to go in terms of upgrading our roads and bridges, but I am happy to see improving infrastructure across the state is at the top of IDOT’s list,” Rezin said. 

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