Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently introduced a sweeping plan to address a variety of infrastructure needs throughout the state, including raising the motor fuel tax and investing over $28 billion in combined local, state, and federal funding for transportation projects.
Dubbed Rebuild Illinois, the preliminary draft of the plan would include $12 billion in new funding for projects at the state and local level to upgrade and maintain the state's highway network, with $22.9 billion in total investments for roads and bridges. The plan recognizes the need for increased funding in order to bring down the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state.
The plan also addresses increasing the state's motor fuel tax, deeming this revenue stream as the most reliable for Illinois. The current tax sits at 19 cents per gallon, which has been the same rate since 1990 and is one of the lowest motor fuel taxes in the nation. The plan proposes doubling the tax to 38 cents per gallon, which is said to generate approximately $1.2 billion in additional annual revenue. In addition, vehicle registration fees would increase through a tiered approach based on vehicle age, with $199 charged in fees for vehicles 3 years old or newer, 4-6 years charged $169, 7-11 years at $139, and vehicles 12 years or older charged $109.
Rebuild Illinois would also direct $3.2 billion in new funding to mass transit throughout the state. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)—which is comprised of the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace—would receive $2.7 billion to fund key transit system needs, while downstate transit districts would receive $96 million to maintain and improve their systems.
Some significant state-funded road construction projects included in Rebuild Illinois would include $61.2 million for U.S. 40/Illinois 33/Fayette Avenue in Effingham County; $1.01 billion for I-80 from Ridge Road to U.S. 30 in Will County for reconstruction of 16 miles, auxiliary lanes, and replacement of the Des Plaines River bridges; $135.4 million for I-55/I-72 in Sangamon County for reconstruction and construction of 4 miles of additional lanes, plus interchange reconstruction and bridge replacement; and $57 million for Illinois 47 in McHenry County for additional lanes, culvert replacement, and intersection improvement.
Source: Associated Press / Office of Gov. JB Pritzker