Normal projects in Quinn’s plan

Illinois will spend less next fiscal year on roads, rails and airport construction projects Gov. Pat Quinn announced Wednesday night.

Gov. Quinn unveiled this information as part of his new transportation plan for the state. A few of the projects he discussed specifically included a Main Street bridge in Normal and the resurfacing of Interstate 39 north of Bloomington-Normal. According to a Pantagraph article, Quinn believes these are investments that are going to keep moving the state forward.

The slight reduction in spending comes as the state’s $31 billion capital construction plan is in its last stages. Lawmakers are in the earlier stages of forming a task force to begin looking at ways to begin a new construction program.

About 75 percent of the work planned in the coming six years from the new transportation plan will go toward maintaining existing roadways in Chicago and downstate, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

As a result, many of these projects set to begin in the next fiscal year could be traffic-clogging. For example, a much needed project like the $11.3 million resurfacing of a section of Interstate 39 north of Normal is set to begin. The Main Street bridge over Sugar Creek in Normal also is programmed for replacement beginning in 2016 at a cost of $1.3 million.

Quinn believes the road plans to be a means of creating jobs in times of high unemployment for Illinois.

The Interstate 74 bridge between Moline and Bettendorf will be the next top bridge priority. The next three years will produce more than $308 million of work done on the structure. This will include construction of one mile of additional lanes on the Illinois sides, as well as smaller bridge replacements and other adjustments in the area.


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