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Illinois Transportation Plan Includes a New I-80 Bridge

The Pritzker administration says it will spend more than $3.7 billion on highway construction during next year alone. Monday it released the annual update to the state's transportation improvement program. 

Governor J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will spend more than $23 billion by 2025 to fix and expand 4,200 miles of roadways and 9 million square feet of bridge decks.  

The plan represents a departure from past practice. Officials say it prioritizes maintaining roads rather than build new ones. The plan reserves 75 percent of its funds for reconstruction and road preservation.  

Included in the multi-year plan is money, $304 million, to replace the I-80 bridge between Rapids City and LeClaire. A DOT spokeswoman says the department hopes to begin preliminary work on the project within a year or two, but emphasizes it will take years of planning and construction to replace the 50 year old bridge across the Mississippi River. 
The state plan also includes money for improvements and re-surfacing along I-280, I-80, and I-74. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.