Governor Pat Quinn today announced $486 million in road and bridge projects that will be started this spring - one of the largest early-season construction programs in the state's history. Today's announcement is part of the governor's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward by investing in our transportation systems. Joined by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, Governor Quinn today released a list of nearly 200 road and bridge projects across the state that will begin in the coming weeks.
"Illinois has a world-class transportation system and we are making it even stronger by carrying out one of the largest spring construction programs ever," Governor Quinn said. "This bold investment will help put thousands of people to work improving our roads and bridges and laying the foundation for economic development for years to come."
The governor and Secretary Schneider made today's announcement on Chicago's South Side, where a $32 million investment will rebuild the Stony Island Feeder to the Bishop Ford Freeway/I-94. The project at the interchange, which handles up to 64,000 vehicles per day, involves the repair, reconstruction, removal and replacement of seven bridges. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the project also involves resurfacing and replacing pavement and intersection improvements. Upgrades to the lighting and signage will improve safety and make it easier for drivers to navigate the interchange.
"IDOT is thrilled to be able to move forward with this important project," Secretary Schneider said. "Thanks to Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, Illinois has been able to make critical improvements to our highways, railways and airports across the state."
IDOT also announced additional Chicago-area transportation investments including: a $19.4 million bridge replacement project at Cumberland Avenue over the Kennedy Expressway, $3.5 million in additional bridge repairs on the Kennedy, and $2.6 million on resurfacing projects on IL Rt. 43/Harlem Avenue at Higgins Avenue in Chicago and on West 127th Street in Crestwood.
Many of the projects announced today are funded through legislation Governor Quinn championed in his State of the State address earlier this year. On those projects, IDOT is offering contractors a reimbursement rate of $10 an hour for hiring graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, an IDOT-sponsored initiative to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in the transportation construction industry.
Governor Quinn in 2009 spearheaded Illinois Jobs Now!, the state's first capital construction program in a decade. The $31 billion capital construction program is the largest in Illinois history, supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs. The program includes $14 billion for transportation through 2015. Of the $14 billion in the program dedicated for transportation needs, IDOT has awarded 5,336 projects worth $12.68 billion, creating and supporting 160,000 jobs. These have included improvements to 6,809 miles of roadways and 1,113 bridges.
Combined with the Illinois Tollway's $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, the state of Illinois is carrying out one of the largest capital construction efforts in the nation.
For a list of projects, please see below. For more information on the work being carried out by IDOT this spring, go to: http://www.dot.il.gov/desenv/042613/042613letg.html.