SPRINGFIELD — The state will spend $2.9 billion in the coming year to build and upgrade roads and bridges, including work on John Deere Road in Moline and the Interstate 280 bridge over the Mississippi River.
In an announcement Thursday, Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said the plan will jumpstart work on more than 3,200 miles of highway and 600 bridges over the next six years.
Although officials said money for this construction season is secure, some funding for the next five years of work remains in limbo. A lawsuit challenging higher taxes on liquor, increased vehicle license fees and money from legalized video gambling, which were intended to pay for construction projects, is in front of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Federal funding levels also could change as Congress rewrites the national transportation funding plan.
“Right now, we know that there is a different tone in Washington,” Hannig said. “We’ll see what that brings.”
But, Hannig added, “We’re moving forward with the program full speed ahead.”
Officials say the plan will create an estimated 39,000 jobs this year and help Illinois recover from the recession.
“This plan will ensure that we have record-breaking construction seasons in 2012 and beyond that exemplify my commitment to creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery through critical investment in our roads and bridges,” the governor said in a statement.
Among local projects expected to continue or get under way this year are:
- Upgrades to the Interstate 280 bridge over the Mississippi River in Rock Island County at a five-year cost of $27.3 million.
- Replacement of the U.S. 52 bridge over the Mississippi River in Savanna at a five-year cost of $73.1 million.
- Widening and improvement of John Deere Road in Moline at a five-year cost of $42 million.