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Ill. Gov. Announces $14B Transportation Plan

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday unveiled a six-year, $14-billion plan for transportation construction he says would be bankrolled by federal, state and local funds. Quinn also indicated he plans to engage a panel of state lawmakers in developing a new capital program for the state.

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“We'll engage them very quickly,” Quinn told reporters.

Illinois Jobs Now, a six-year $31-billion capital program funded by taxes on liquor, video gambling, candy and beauty products, is due to expire at the end of fiscal 2014. About $18 billion in funds were allocated toward transportation spending.

Transportation for Illinois Coalition, whose members include several state construction groups, has proposed a plan that primarily would rely on gasoline and diesel fuel to fund future road construction. Quinn has opposed the plan, indicating that more efficient vehicles and higher prices are negatively impacting fuel consumption.

In all, Quinn's transportation plan would allocate $8.6 billion toward roads and bridges, including 1,845 miles of highway and 384 spans. Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said Wednesday that about 75% of funding would itarget maintenance.

Among other projects, plans call for road and bridge work in Effingham, including repaving of I-70.

The plan anticipates the federal government will fund about $7 billion of road and bridge work, with the remainder funded by the state and municipalities.

Quinn also has earmarked $1.85 billion for public transportation, including $222 million to reestablish passenger rail service between Chicago and Moline, and nearly $600 million to purchase commuter cars for Metra, a mass-transit system serving metropolitan Chicago.

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