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Illinois governor announces $8.6B construction program

The six-year program, unveiled by the Chicago Democrat at the state Capitol, will be paid for primarily through federal funds with about $1.5 billion in state and local funds.

The Trucker News Services

4/10/2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday announced an $8.6 billion construction program to improve roads and bridges throughout Illinois.

The six-year program, unveiled by the Chicago Democrat at the state Capitol, will be paid for primarily through federal funds with about $1.5 billion in state and local funds.

Quinn says the program would improve a total of 1,845 miles of highway and replace or rehab 384 bridges across Illinois.

Projects include allotting $585 million for new Metra commuter cars. It also includes $222 million for a new passenger rail service between Chicago and Moline and $74 million for Interstate 70 resurfacing and bridge work in the Effingham area. An unspecified amount would be earmarked to continue land acquisition and pursue final approval of a south suburban airport with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Quinn said he also wants to form a bipartisan working group to develop plans for crafting a future a capital bill, and coming up with ways to fund it, in the next six weeks, with a structure similar to the 10-member committee that was instrumental in developing a plan to overhaul the state's pension funds.

"I want to hear their ideas," Quinn said. "We have ideas as well. Clearly what we did five years ago was historic."

The state Legislature passed the last $31 billion capital construction program in 2009. It was paid for through legalizing video poker, raising taxes on candy, liquor and beauty products, and by privatizing the Illinois lottery.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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