Illinois Officials Focus on ’Maintenance’ of Roads

Thu June 11, 2009 - Midwest Edition

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Illinois isn’t planning any new road work in the next five years unless lawmakers approve new money for a major construction plan.

Officials released an $11.25 billion long-term road plan May 20. But Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig warned that there’s very little money for new projects.

Hannig said the plan would improve existing highways and bridges. But he said the state needs an expanded highway system to relieve congestion.

That’s only possible if the General Assembly approves Gov. Pat Quinn’s $26 billion capital construction plan.

The Senate could soon vote on such a plan — paid for with expanded gambling, new taxes on liquor, and increased license fees.

The plan announced May 20 benefits from $1.6 billion that was part of a “mini-capital” bill legislators approved in April.