J.B. barnstorms behind capital plan

Rebuild Illinois budgets record $45 billion for statewide infrastructure

By Ted Cox

“Here in Will County, we’re putting $1.2 billion into rebuilding the infamous I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River – infamous because too many of our residents are scared they won’t be safe driving over it.” JB Pritzker, June 28, 2019, Joliet, IL


Gov. Pritzker barnstormed across the state Friday touting the record $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

Pritzker signed the capital bill and kicked off his day in East St. Louis, then continued on to the Lincoln Depot State Historic Site in Springfield and held another event in the afternoon within sight of the infamous Interstate 80 bridge across the Des Plaines River, set to be replaced as part of $1.2 billion in the plan earmarked for multiple bridge replacements and road upgrades in Joliet and Will County.

“With this historic $45 billion capital plan, we’re fixing decades-long problems, creating good jobs, improving communities for the next generation — and doing it together, across party lines,” Pritzker said in a statement. “The Rebuild Illinois plan transforms our state’s approach to transportation infrastructure, finally treating our roads, bridges, and railways like 21st-century investments and not relics of the past. We’re also making critical investments in our higher-education institutions, our crime lab and veterans’ homes, early childhood centers, and expanding broadband access to communities across Illinois. With these investments, we’re creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of new jobs in our state. This is more than an infrastructure plan. This is a job-creation plan the likes of which our state has never seen.”

It was actually a series of bill signings, as Pritzker approved House Bill 62 on so-called horizontal infrastructure allotting $33 billion to transportation, $3.5 billion to education projects, $1 billion to the environment, and $420 million to statewide broadband expansion.

Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1939 to pay for it, doubling the motor-fuel tax to 38 cents a gallon and increasing title fees and vehicle-registration fees, and House Bill 142 to float bonds based on those added revenues. He also signed Senate Bill 690 legalizing sports gambling and allowing additional casinos in Chicago, Waukegan, Rockford, the south suburbs, Williamson County, and Danville to fund so-called vertical infrastructure through a $1-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax to $2.98 as well as additional parking taxes. It also creates the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act, including the Illinois Works Preapprenticeship Program and the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative.


I-80 Coalition News

IDOT 5-year plan includes big improvements on I-80, I-55 in Will County

The Illinois Department of Transportation on Tuesday released a $21.3 billion five-year highway improvement plan with five major projects in Will County. The plan includes $3.2 billion in spending for fiscal year 2021, but IDOT warned that funding could be curtailed because of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

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I-80 Public Hearings

You're InvitedI-80 Ridge Road to US Route 30 Public Hearings Wed. Nov. 6, 2019Holiday Inn1472 Rock Creek BoulevardJoliet, IL 60431 Thurs. Nov. 7, 2019All Nation Church of GodCommunity Life Center503 Water StreetJoliet, IL 60436   Des Plaines Bridges News

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Highway Projects Everywhere

Will County sees bonanza of infrastructure improvements

The state highway improvement plan for the next five years has something big in store for every part of Will County.

The Interstate 80 project that has captured the most attention promises improved bridges, new interchanges and other improvements through Joliet to the western end of the county.

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Traffic Shifts For I-80-US 30 Interchange Reconstruction

The new interchange is expected to be complete in late 2021.

NEW LENOX, IL — Traffic will be shifted for the reconstruction of the I-80 – US 30 interchange in New Lenox starting June 3. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, traffic will be shifted to the right on the eastbound lanes between Gougar and Francis roads during the overnight hours on Monday, weather permitting.

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I-80 Through Joliet Big Winner In Illinois Budget

Included in a statewide construction plan that addresses hospitals, schools and roadways will be funding dedicated to repairs ensuring the long-term safety of the I-80 bridge spanning the Des Plaines River. The plan passed with support from State Senators Pat McGuire and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

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