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Ill. Gov. Signs $1.1B Bill For Road Repairs

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Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday signed a $1.1 billion bill to repair and upgrade state roads and bridges in the wake of one of the region's harshest winters in decades. Quinn also signed a bill to fund the program with general obligation bonds.

In all, the funds will bankroll more than 200 “shovel ready” projects statewide while creating more than 14,000 jobs.

Major projects in metropolitan Chicago include $48 million in repairs to bridges linking I-55 to Chicago's Lake Shore Drive and $86 in repairs and upgrades to bridges linking I-55 to I-171 in southwest suburbia. Plans also call for resurfacing portions of I-57.

About $100 million will be allocated to townships and municipalities in need of road and infrastructure improvements.  

“It is imperative for all of us that we make investments to make sure we take good care of these roads and bridges, relieve congestion, get people to their destination as quickly as possible, as safely as possible,” Quinn indicated during a Tuesday press conference. 

“After the historic winter we experienced, many of our roads and bridges are in desperate need of attention,” Erica Borggren, acting head of Illinois Department of Transportation, indicated in a statement. “This construction program is the shot in the arm that our transportation system and our economy needs.”

Quinn's six-year, $31-billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is due to run out of funding this year, among the reasons state lawmakers said they supported the road repairs bill. Some projects listed in the bill already are under way.

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