Illinois will invest nearly 13 billion dollars on highways, bridges and other transportation projects under a plan the Governor unveiled Wednesday. As IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports the bulk of that spending will go toward fixing roads, not building new ones.
Highway construction is a nuisance for drivers.But it's great for a governor especially one who, like Pat Quinn, is heading into an election next year.Because road construction means jobs for members of trade unions. Quinn says it's his aim to spread projects across the state."Some of them are big, some of them are very important in a local community. They may not involve millions and millions of dollars, but for that community wherever they may live in Illinois - in a small town, in a suburb, or in a big city, we want to make sure that our transportation investment helps everybody," says Quinn.The biggest project will have Illinois spending nearly a half-billion dollars to reconstruct Circle Interchange in Chicago, where four expressways converge just west of The Loop. Other highlights include working with Iowa to build a new bridge in Moline over the Mississippi River and interstate resurfacing.Money will also go toward high-speed rail, laying lines for broadband internet access, and airport updates.