illinois infrastructure

Chicago-Area Infrastructure Projects Could Benefit from Federal Funds

The Illinois Department of Transportation said it is overseeing historic investments in the state’s infrastructure across all modes of transportation through the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

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Illinois is expected to receive around $17 billion to boost its infrastructure and now local leaders are ready to check off their project wish lists.

President Joe Biden on Monday signed a $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law Monday before a bipartisan, celebratory crowd on the White House lawn, declaring that the new infusion of cash for roads, bridges, ports and more is going to make life “change for the better” for the American people.

"We have some old infrastructure, so this will help us with our roads, our bridges, all of our infrastructure that we've been looking to improve over the last couple of decades," said Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. "This will take us to the next level."

Irvin said Aurora also plans to replace its lead water pipes and increase broadband availability to residents.

The city’s engineer, Ken Schroth, said money could also be put toward improvements to the New York Street bridge.

"It would be the replacement of a lot of the deck surfaces, the sidewalk and then rehab of a lot of the structural members," Schroth said.

The Lake County Division of Transportation said it is evaluating the feasibility of an underpass on Old McHenry Road at a train crossing to ease traffic congestion.

It remains unclear how much federal infrastructure money local governments will receive or how soon they will receive it.

But Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA) said the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will position Illinois to serve as a leader in transportation innovation, safety and opportunity.

"Industry stands ready to meet the challenge to put Illinois back to work," said Mike Sturino, President & CEO of the IRTBA.

The infrastructure money is also expected to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations in Illinois.

"I believe that affordable public charging is key to electric vehicle adoption," said Jeff Miller, president of the Fox Valley Electric Auto Association.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said it is overseeing historic investments in the state’s infrastructure across all modes of transportation through the Rebuild Illinois capital program, and with the additional federal funds, Illinois is poised to capitalize on that success and continue creating jobs and economic opportunity while building a 21st century transportation system that is "truly safe, reliable and equitable for Illinois businesses, travelers and residents."

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