The state of Illinois is about to release $1.6 billion for transportation projects this summer. Gov. Pat Quinn was expected to sign the measure, which was passed by the General Assembly in May and relies heavily on borrowing. It is the next phase of the Illinois Jobs Now! $31 billion capital improvement plan, which is expected to create about 20,000 jobs in the coming months.
Not all of the cash will go towards road and bridge projects. According to the Chicago Tribune, the strong dose of funding also will go toward 15 initiatives to speed the flow of freight and passenger trains through congested areas in northeastern Illinois. Pedestrians and bicyclists also will see safety enhancements.
The city of Chicago will receive $93.8 million worth of funding, with $55 million marked for 96 arterial street resurfacing projects. Officials also are expected to cut the ribbon on a $22.5 million job to reconstruct the Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River.