Downstate Illinois is set to get almost double what Chicago and the metro areas are getting from the recent tax and fee increases to pay for infrastructure in the $23.5 billion multi-year plan released recently.
Lawmakers doubled the state’s gas tax to 38 cents a gallon and increased other driving fees as part of a large infrastructure bill at the end of spring session. That was part of the $45 billion plan for vertical and horizontal projects throughout the state.
Just this week, the Pritzker administration released specific spending details for $23.5 billion of the horizontal spending.
A review of the summary spending for each of the state’s 9 Illinois Department of Transportation Districts shows Chicago and the five collar counties have 2,720 miles of roads and nearly 1,500 bridges. IDOT District 1 is set to get $6.63 billion in the new capital plan. The rest of the state’s IDOT districts have 12,400 miles of roads and 6,400 bridges and are set to spend $12.7 billion on infrastructure projects.
Kevin Burke with the Transportation for Illinois Coalition said the multi-year plan doesn’t include transit spending.
“Most of that money is also going to the Chicago metro area for transit,” Burke said. “So when you would actually look at the split it would probably be closer to 50-50 or even a little more heavily weighted toward Chicago when you add in those extra funding.”
As for the volume of work to be done across the state, Burke, who’s also the executive vice president of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association, said roads are roads and need to be maintained.
“Chicago area, it’s primarily getting to your office, getting to work,” Burke said. “Downstate and rural areas a lot of it is the farm-to-market type routes.”
That kind of traffic brings heavy trucks hauling goods and farm equipment planting and harvesting throughout the year.
To those who criticize lawmakers who voted against the tax increases to pay for infrastructure with their districts set to get more than a billion dollars, state Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said even those who vote “no” have to pay increased taxes.
“The bill passed, I voted no, but we still have citizens that are paying the gas tax,” Hallbrook said. “They should be the recipients of these improvement projects.”
Halbrook’s legislative districts gets $208.7 million, according to an individual district breakout for House Dist. 102. A complete breakdown by IDOT district is below.
“It’s good to see that there is some attention, finally, to some long overdue projects that are in need of desperate repair,” Halbrook said, adding that he’s pouring over spending scheduled in his district to make sure the most vital projects get addressed.
Here’s a breakdown by district:
District 1 gets $6.63 billion. That includes Chicago, suburban Cook County, and the five collar counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. In total there are 2,720 miles of highways and 1,448 bridges that support 76 million miles daily.
District 2 gets $1.28 billion. That includes Rockford, Rock Island-Moline, Geneseo, Rochelle, Dixon, Freeport, Belvidere, Kewanee and Sterling-Rock Falls. In total there are 1,606 miles of highways and 838 bridges that support 10.6 million vehicle miles daily.
District 3 gets $1.36 billion. That includes DeKalb, Kankakee, LaSalle-Peru, Mendota, Morris, Oswego, Ottawa, Pontiac, Princeton, Streator and Watseka. In total there are 1,687 miles of highways and 788 bridges that support 11.6 million vehicle miles daily.
District 4 gets $1.52 billion. That includes Peoria, Canton, Chillicothe, Galesburg, Macomb, Monmount and Pekin. In total there are 1,634 miles of highways and 693 bridges that support 9.3 million vehicle miles daily.
District 5 gets $780 million. That includes Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, Clinton, Danville and Tuscola. In total there are 1,296 miles of highways and 682 bridges that support 9.8 million vehicle miles daily.
District 6 gets $1.24 billion. That includes Springfield, Quincy, Jacksonville, Lincoln and Taylorville. In total there are 2,077 miles of highways and 847 bridges that support 11.1 million vehicle miles daily.
District 7 gets $1.29 billion. That includes Decatur, Charleston, Mattoon, Effingham, Sullivan and Vandalia. In total there are 1,623 miles of highways and 777 bridges that support 9.4 million vehicle miles daily.
District 8 gets $2.36 billion. That includes projects in East St. Louis, Centralia, Alton, Belleville, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Highland, Greenville, Mascoutah and Chester. In total there are 1,803 miles and 1,012 bridges that support 16.7 million vehicle miles daily.
District 9 gets $1.14 billion. That includes Carbondale, Mt. Vernon, Marion, Herrin, Harrisburg, Murphysboro, West Frankfort, Benton and Pinckneyville. In total there are 1,462 miles of highways and 767 bridgest that support 8.9 million vehicle miles daily.
There are also statewide projects totaling $1.7 billion. Such projects include work zone and highway safety, traffic control improvements and emergency repairs. But the plan also says the statewide projects include economic development programs, federally mandated training programs, and environmental studies.