Pritzker, IDOT announce updated plan to rebuild Illinois roads, bridges

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Monday a new version of the multi-year plan for road and bridge projects across the state, which is the first to capture the historic impact of the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. 

  A project to improve 
  drainage at the Dixie Highway
  viaduct in Homewood is 
  included in the updated 
  IDOT plan released Monday.
  (Chronicle file photo)
In the plan are four projects in Homewood; one in Flossmoor; one that includes Homewood, Flossmoor and Chicago Heights; one that includes Homewood and East Hazel Crest; and one that includes Homewood, East Hazel Crest and Harvey.

The local projects, some of which have been in the planning process for several years, include:

  • Preliminary engineering for bridge reconstruction in Flossmoor at Brookfield Drive and Butterfield Road, a $68,000 project slated for 2020.
  • Drainage improvements at the Dixie Highway viaduct in Homewood, an $850,000 project slated for the period 2021 to 2025, plus property acquisition, a $10,000 project in 2020.
  • Pavement overlay on 3.93 miles of Illinois Route 1 from 149th Street to Ridge Road, a $3.25 million project in 2021 to 2025. 
  • Pavement overlay and ADA improvements on 0.63 miles of Illinois Route 1 from 175th Street to Ridge Road, a $555,000 project in 2020.
  • Designed pavement overlay on 3.62 miles of Dixie Highway from 183rd Street to Chicago Road in Chicago Heights, slated for 2021 to 2025. 
  • Pavement overlay on 0.99 miles of 175th Street from Ashland Avenue to Halsted Street, a $545,000 project in 2020. 
  • Pavement overlay and ADA improvements on 175th Street from Governors Highway to Dixie Highway in Homewood and East Hazel Crest, a $689,000 project in 2021-2025.

To develop the plan, IDOT evaluated the conditions, frequency of use, and crash and fatalities statistics across the state’s transportation system in planning the historic improvements, according to a news release from the governor's office.

During the next six years, $23.5 billion will be invested in maintaining, preserving and expanding 4,212 miles of roadway and 9.2 million square feet of bridge deck statewide.
“All together, these road and bridge projects will create and support hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next five years for hardworking Illinoisans in every part of our state,” Pritzker said. “Illinois has some of the most important roads in America – let’s make them outlast and outperform those across the nation.”
This new plan represents a shift in Illinois’ approach. Previously, the state waited to rebuild until roadways and bridges had deteriorated so much that they presented safety hazards. Illinois will now prioritize maintaining its system over time, which is also a more cost-effective way to manage long-term capital needs. 

To achieve that, this plan dedicates more than 75 percent of the funds to reconstructing and preserving roadways and bridges, 16 percent to strategically expanding the system in areas where data have shown the investment will be highly effective and the remainder for necessary traffic and safety improvements.
Of the major categories of state investments in the plan, $7.58 billion will go toward roadway reconstruction and preservation, $4.99 billion for bridge replacements and repairs, $1.59 billion for safety and system modernizations like interchange reconstructions, $3.08 billion for strategic expansion of the system and $2.11 billion for system support like engineering and land acquisition.
The additional state investment in Rebuild Illinois has also allowed the department to maximize federal dollars, bringing in tens of millions annually that would have otherwise been left on the table each year, the governor’s office said.
The fiscal year 2020-2025 plan serves as a baseline in the Rebuild Illinois capital program. Updated plans, based on revenue and evaluation metrics, will be released each year and adjustments to projects will be made on an annual basis through the life of the plan.

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