State News
5:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Illinois in need of infrastructure repair

Infrastructure in Illinois is getting dangerously close to disrepair, according to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers.   The state received a "C-minus" for its maintenance of roads, bridges and waterways.

The group says Illinois' grade is cause for concern, especially given recent infrastructure failures. Those headlines include last weekend's water crisis in Toledo, Ohio and chemical pollutants in West Virginia water earlier this year. 

Congress recently put off dealing with a severely underfunded road program for another year.  Something Darren Olsen, with the engineer’s group, says is contrary to progress. He says governments on the state and federal level need to come up with a long term, sustainable funding source, especially given new environmental challenges.

"Call it climate change, call it global warming, we need to make sure that as we maintain and design and build these infrastructure systems that they're done in a resilient way that they can withstand weather patterns that we probably haven't seen in the past."

For example, six months after the drought of summer 2012, barges on the Mississippi River got stuck because of low winter water levels.