IDOT’s $8.4 Billion, 6-Year Plan: What’s Kane County’s Share?
The Illinois Department of Transportation released a six-year, $8.4 billion highway construction plan that fixes and improves roads and bridges throughout the state — including Kane County projects totaling a little more than $84 million.
Obviously, any regional transportation improvement or maintenance is important to Kane County drivers, but two projects that touch Kane County are listed in the plan’s executive summary as “major highway projects of interest.” They are:
- U.S. 20 at Illinois 31 in Elgin — Bridge replacement, land acquisition, and engineering for contract plans are programmed during FY 2017-2021 at an estimated cost of $10.3 million.
- Illinois 390 (Elgin O’Hare Expressway) from Interstate 290/Illinois 53 to O’Hare Western Bypass — Land Acquisition is programmed during FY 2016 at an estimated cost of $22 million. “These are SAFETEA-LU Projects of National and Regional Significance. SAFETEA-LU provided a total of $140 million for these projects.”
The top three big-ticket projects among the $84.053 million worth of work under the heading, “KANE COUNTY FY 2016-2021 PROPOSED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM” are:
- $9.2 million for bridge replacement on U.S. Route 20 at IL Route 31 in Elgin
- $8.1 million for intersection improvement, traffic signalization and bridge replacement on IL Route 47 at Main Street south of Elburn
- $8.2 million for bridge replacement and “reprofiling” on IL Route 56 at Hankes Road
According to the press release issued today (Friday, May 15, 2015), IDOT anticipates a rapid deterioration in the overall condition of Illinois infrastructure due to a lack of sustainable investment.
“While this latest multiyear program will have a positive impact on many of our communities, it also underscores the urgency to find a long-term, sustainable solution for our infrastructure needs,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “A high-quality transportation network is a job creator and economic asset. But just maintaining our existing system will be a challenge, with the ability to take on any new projects extremely difficult.”
Based on current state and federal funding levels, the FY2016-21 Proposed Highway Improvement Program is focused on maintaining the existing system by improving 1,431 miles of highway and 357 bridges.
Among the projects in the plan are $351 million for the ongoing Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction in Chicago, $196.6 million to replace the eastbound U.S. 150 bridge over the Illinois River in Peoria, $82.6 million to replace Interstate 80 bridges in Will County, $76.4 million to rebuild inbound Interstate 55 connecting to Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and $36.5 million to replace the King Bridge ramps over westbound Interstate 55/64/70 in East St. Louis.
Of the $8.4 billion identified in the program, $1.85 billion will be invested in FY16. While 83 percent of state highways and 93 percent of bridges are in acceptable condition today, conditions are poised to decline. By the end of FY21, just 62 percent of highways and 86 percent of bridges will be in acceptable condition.
For the last month, Acting Secretary Blankenhorn and IDOT have been on a statewide listening tour to hear about the infrastructure needs and priorities from residents, business and stakeholders who rely on the state’s transportation system. A final report will be presented to the governor’s office and the General Assembly after the tour wraps up May 22.
The multiyear program in its entirety can be viewed at goo.gl/gLOqt7. Listening tour dates and locations, as well as an online survey for those who cannot attend, are available at http://www.idot.illinois.gov.
IDOT’s 4 Priorities
The FY 2016-2021 state program can be summarized by four major priorities:
- System Maintenance: $2.292 billion is scheduled for reconstruction, resurfacing/widening and safety projects. This includes $473 million for Interstate resurfacing projects and $409 million for safety improvements.
- Bridge Maintenance: $1.492 billi on is scheduled to address bridge needs.
- Congestion Mitigation: $1.019 billion is scheduled to address traffic congestion. This includes $421 million for construction of the new Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River and connecting roadways in the Quad Cities.
- System Expansion: $433 million is scheduled to build new roads to increase access and to encourage economic development.