Springfield, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) on April 5 announced that $7 million has been awarded for 21 projects as a part of the agency’s Truck Access Route Program (TARP). The program includes upgrading roads to accommodate local truck traffic, leveraging a total investment of $36 million to create jobs and boost economic activity in communities throughout the state.
“Illinois is the country’s transportation hub, with freight activity a cornerstone of the state’s economy,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “At IDOT, we want our local partners to have the necessary tools to manage traffic safely and spur even more job creation and economic growth.”
The TARP allows counties, municipalities and townships to apply for assistance in upgrading roads to accommodate 80,000-pound trucks and become designated truck routes. The program provides $45,000 per lane mile and $22,000 per eligible intersection for selected projects.
The program is specific to IDOT’s funding methods and implemented in the 1990s, as many locations in Illinois do not have the capabilities to accommodate trucks on highways.
“We are trying to build up the web of a highway system where trucks can actually move freely throughout Illinois,” said Stephane Seck-Birhame, local program development engineer for IDOT. “That’s the goal of the program.”
All funded projects are designated to connect truck routes on county roads, highways and within cities.
“All this money is not to be used solely on traveling the roadway,” Seck-Birhame said. “Improving our roadways is always much more expensive than that. This is just an assistant to those already planning on improving their roadway to consider improving it in a way that can accommodate 80,000-pound trucks.”
Local municipalities may apply annually to receive funding. Applications open in the fall of each year, with requirements to submit a cover letter, the project estimate, a location map and forms to be eligible. The state participation will not exceed 50 % of the total construction costs or $900,000, whichever is less. A maximum of $900,000 can be awarded to projects that improve connections to other designated truck routes and businesses that generate truck traffic.
In March, IDOT provided the third of six $250 million installments to local governments as part of the six-year, $33.2 billion capital program
According to a statement from IDOT, Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but it is also the first one that touches all modes of Illinois transportation, including roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
“We want to make sure if there is already an existing truck route, a driver on that truck route and wanting to go somewhere else to another destination has the ability to do so from where they’re at,” Seck-Birhame said.
Click here to view the projects that were awarded funding.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.