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Local News

Rauner announces $11 billion infrastructure plan

About $148.4 million to go toward I-80 improvements

Gov. Bruce Rauner addresses the media, public and elected officials from Will County on Monday, July 11, 2016 during a press conference announcing the construction of a bridge connecting Hobolt Road and Center Point in Joliet, Ill.
Gov. Bruce Rauner addresses the media, public and elected officials from Will County on Monday, July 11, 2016 during a press conference announcing the construction of a bridge connecting Hobolt Road and Center Point in Joliet, Ill.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced a six-year plan to commit $11.05 billion in the state’s roads and bridges.

The plan includes $2.2 billion of state and federal funding in the upcoming fiscal year, according to a news release. This also will include $148.4 million for bridge work and other improvements on Interstate 80 in Will County.

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s bridge inspection database shows two bridges on I-80, one over the Des Plaines River and another over Gardner Street, are among the worst in Joliet. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association found the I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River in Joliet is among the most traveled bridges considered structurally deficient.

Rauner argued that the plan will focus on projects that will provide the greatest economic benefit to communities and take advantage of long-term strategies to save money over time. Based on current funding levels, the plan aims to improve about 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the state.

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

The plan also puts $26 million toward a reconstruction project in Rockford, $36 million for repairing and replacing of an exit and ramps in East St. Louis and $12.7 million for additional lanes on Interstate 57 from Johnson City to West Frankfort.

State Sen. Sue Rezin’s, R-Morris, 38th District will see nearly $40 million in roads and bridges improvements. Rezin’s district includes parts of Joliet, Minooka, Channahon, Braidwood and Wilmington, and extends to Grundy and LaSalle counties.

“Infrastructure is the lifeblood of an economy,” Rezin said in a statement. “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. 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.”

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