ROADS/BRIDGES: IDOT chief says road construction season at risk without stopgap budget

June 16, 2016

A lack of funding could also have an economic impact on the communities where projects are supposed to take place, according to officials

Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says the state faces the unprecedented prospect of missing a road construction season if lawmakers fail to approve a stopgap spending plan that Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed.

On the final day of the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s spring session May 31, the Republican governor proposed a temporary spending plan that would fund state operations through December, including funding for road construction and money to restart work on projects at state facilities that have been delayed for the past year as a result of lack of spending authority from the General Assembly.

IDOT has more than 800 ongoing projects totaling more than $2 billion and involving roughly 25,000 workers, according to Blankenhorn. Without legislative approval for continued spending, those projects will shut down when the state’s new fiscal year begins July 1, and the state will incur additional costs to restart them.

Rauner defended the plan to go the bond market Thursday to borrow $550 million to fund construction projects despite the lack of a budget.

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