Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider has unveiled “Transforming Transportation for Tomorrow,” the state’s first multimodal transportation improvement program. The new program document combines the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) newly proposed multiyear highway program for fiscal years (FY) 2013-18 with the proposed multiyear programs for public transportation (FY 2013-17), rail (FY 2013-17) and aeronautics (FY 2013-15) and is being introduced in a new streamlined format to reinforce the multimodal nature of transportation in Illinois.
“We are excited to begin this more multimodal approach toward planning and programming transportation projects and funding, further promoting our goal to develop an even more integrated, effective and efficient transportation system for many years to come,” said Schneider. “We recognize that building a healthy, vibrant transportation network to develop and function properly through the 21st century means addressing the needs of our world-class highways, airports, railroads and public transportation systems as one interconnected system.”
The multimodal approach goes beyond previous individual modal planning and programming efforts by identifying and improving physical connections and logistical links among the various modes of transportation. The ultimate goal is to more effectively incorporate federal, regional and local transportation plans with the state’s plan to create a collective vision that meets Illinois’ transportation needs through 2050 or longer.
The 2013-18 highway program is a six-year plan at an anticipated level of $9.2 billion, including $1.8 billion for the 2013 program alone. The plan includes $6.5 billion in federal and $2.2 billion in state funding. The costs include the final $1.2 billion targeted from the state’s Illinois Jobs Now capital plan and $454 million in local funds.
Driven by Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now capital program, the multiyear highway program will create or sustain nearly 120,000 jobs through 2018 and spark economic development throughout the state, while improving safety and reducing congestion. Part of the highway program includes maintenance of 2,302 miles of road and replacement or rehabilitation of 508 bridges.
In addition, state highways will see $6.6 billion in improvements over the life of the program, with $2.6 billion targeting the local highway system. In the state portion of the multiyear program, $3 billion will be for reconstruction, resurfacing, widening and other safety projects; $1.5 billion for bridge needs; $1.4 billion for congestion mitigation and $756 million for new roads and increased access for economic development.
Enacted in 2009 to include a $14 billion, six-year transportation improvement plan, the Illinois Jobs Now program already has invested more than $9.5 billion in the state’s highway system alone from 2009 through 2011, improving more than 6,000 miles of roadways and more than 840 bridges, while creating or preserving more than 125,000 jobs.
The entire “Transforming Transportation for Tomorrow” program, including a list of all highway projects programmed for FY 2013-18, are available online at www.dot.il.gov/hip1318/hwyimprov.htm.