Illinois cuts road construction spending

News Chicago Sun-Times May 07, 2003
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Illinois Gov

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has proposed a smaller road construction plan for the state, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Officials said $1.7 billion is expected to be spent on roads and bridges in the fiscal year starting July 1. The spending plan, however, is $500 million to $600 million less than what was spent on construction jobs during FY 2002.

Blgojevich did release a five-year, $7.4 billion road blueprint, which included the $505 million Dan Ryan Expressway reconstruction job and the $367 million Kingery Expressway widening project. Both will remain on schedule. Other projects in the five-year plan include the widening of Illinois 22; the widening and rehabilitation of Willow/Palatine Road; the construction of an Illinois 31 bypass; and the reconstruction of 2.3 miles of 159th Street.

Illinois is coming off a massive infrastructure bill--called the Illinois FIRST public works initiative--authored by former Gov. George Ryan. Fewer projects will be included in the program because the state simply doesn't have the kind of money that was filtering in a couple of years ago.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said no future projects would be canceled, just postponed. Officials could not release a list of the delayed jobs.

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