Illinois proposes multibillion-dollar road plan

| 5/4/2005

Illinois officials have unveiled a $9.1 billion road plan that would build new roads, improve current ones and make other changes for the next five years.

The plan, announced by the state’s Department of Transportation and the office of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, would include work on over 4,500 miles of highway and more than 900 bridges in the state.

That includes the reconstruction of the Dan Ryan and Kingery expressways, both of which carry traffic across Chicago’s south side, as well as adding lanes to Interstate 80 near the Indiana state line.

The plan would also improve a portion of Interstate 74 through Peoria, bringing it in line with current interstate system construction standards. And a number of rural highways would also see expansion and improvement, including the U.S. 20 corridor across the northern tier of the state, and U.S. 67, which runs north to south in the western part of the state.

Matt Vanover, a spokesman for IDOT, said that the plan will be presented to the General Assembly with the governor’s budget. If the budget is approved, he said, that approval will include the multiyear road plan.

That budget is contained in a group of bills now before the General Assembly.

– By Mark H. Reddig, associate editor