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Quinn Announces 6-Year, $8.6 Billion Road, Public Transit Plan…and More

(Chicago) – Governor Pat Quinn yesterday unveiled a six-year, $8.6 billion transportation construction program to fix roads and bridges and boost public transit.

“This comprehensive plan for our highways, public transit, rail and airport projects will make critical repairs and major improvements across Illinois,” Quinn said on Wednesday. “Our infrastructure plan will create thousands of construction jobs now while paving the way for more jobs and economic development in the future.”

The fiscal years 2015-2020 highway improvement program will improve 1,845 miles of highway and replace or rehabilitate 384 bridges across Illinois. Among hundreds of projects across the state, the plan includes:

  • $308.6 million for construction of a new I-74/US 6 bridge in Moline
  • $107.9 million for bridge replacements on the Stevenson Expressway in Chicago
  • $110 million for the Alton-Godfrey Expressway
  • $204.4 million for US 150 improvements including a bridge replacement in Peoria
  • $76.4 million for bridge replacements along I-80 in Will County
  • $71 million for a new I-64 bridge over the Wabash River in White County
  • $29 million to reconstruct IL Rt. 2/North Main in Rockford
  • $52 million for work on I-74 near Champaign and Danville
  • $65.2 million for work on IL Rt. 47 in Kendall County
  • $27.8 million for resurfacing and bridge work on I-72/US 51 in Decatur
  • $27.7 million for improvements to I-72 between New Berlin and Chatham Road in Sangamon County
  • $73.9 million for I-70 resurfacing and bridge repair in the Effingham area
  • $36.2 million for I-57 road and bridge work around Kankakee
  • $65 million for improvements to Route 104 in Morgan and Pike Counties

The improvement program also includes $1.85 billion for public transportation and $800 million for airports with $161 million for fiscal year 2015. Highlights include:

  • $60 million to re-establish passenger rail service, which includes a new station in South Elgin for the Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque Corridor in Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties
  • $585.1 million to purchase up to 160 Electric Highliner Metra Commuter Cars
  • $222 million to provide new intercity passenger rail service between Chicago and Moline for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Corridor in Cook and DuPage Counties
  • $132.6 million for the Englewood Flyover to reduce Amtrak, Metra and freight passenger rail congestion
  • Funding to continue land acquisition and pursue final approval of the South Suburban Airport with the Federal Aviation Administration
  • $2.45 million to purchase four 35-foot diesel buses, three super medium duty diesel buses, eight medium duty diesel buses and one minivan for replacement for the Southeastern Illinois RIDES Mass Transit District

“Replacing the functionally obsolete I-74 bridge across the Mississippi River will not only increase safety but it will create jobs and economic growth across our region,” U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) said.

For fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, 2014, the program has allocated $1.88 billion for road projects, $1.85 billion for public transportation, $2.7 million for rail and $161 million for airport improvements. For the six years of the plan, a total of $5.82 billion is targeted to state highway system improvements with $2.77 billion going toward local transportation needs.

The plan includes $6.99 billion in anticipated federal funds, $1.16 billion in state funds and the remaining $450 million from local and other sources. The $158 million remaining for road and bridge projects from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is also included in this multi-year program.

GOP GLEEFUL ON MILLIONAIRE TAX SURCHARGE DEMISE… Illinois House and Senate Republican minority leaders cheered on Wednesday the stall of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s 3% millionaire tax surcharge initiative, but offered no budget or school funding plan of their own.

“There is clearly a bi-partisan coalition that knows we can’t tax our way to prosperity and job creation,” said GOP House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). “It’s my hope the coalition can defeat the onslaught of job crushing proposals such as a graduated tax and the permanency of the ‘temporary’ income tax on families and employers.”

“We are relieved this tax increase that would cost families and jobs has been beaten back,” said GOP Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). “But now we must continue the fight against more Democrat[ic] tax increases on families and the businesses that put them to work.”

Neither Durkin nor Radogno have announced a budget plan to address to address the loss of $1.6 billion in tax revenue from the phased expiration of the 2011 temporary income tax hike that begins on January 1, 2015.

10,000 MORE SUMMER JOBS… Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday announced Chicago will offer an additional 10,000 “academic and job training opportunities” as part of the City’s 2014’s Summer of Learning and Earning, a citywide initiative to keep Chicago youth ages 4 to 24 “active and engaged this summer”.

“The City’s summer programming will be our biggest and best ever, with 22,000 job and internship opportunities…” said Commissioner Evelyn Diaz of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services.

ON DECK… Governor Pat Quinn will make a “major announcement” regarding rail service in Rockford; 3:15 p.m… Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak at the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism; Cambridge, MA; 4:30 p.m. (EST).

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