Warm winter allows roadwork to start earlier in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — It's a typical scene: Winter ends and orange cones begin to line Illinois streets, highways and bridges. Officials at Illinois’ Department of Transportation say this year they have benefited from the warm temperatures.
“We were able to start smaller projects like patchwork, and filling potholes much earlier,” said Josh Kauffman IDOT spokesman.
“Larger projects rely on the schedule of the contractor, but if they wanted to start earlier because of the nice weather, they could,” he said.
IDOT uses the Proposed Highway Improvement Project — a multi-year plan stretching from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2017 — to manage projects and construction funds. The program assigns projects on a state or local level and has a budget of $11.525 billion for fiscal 2012.
Using state and federal funds, construction in Illinois for fiscal 2012 is expected to be about $3 billion withing money coming from:
Federal funds — $1.311 billion
State funds — $1.661 billion
Local funds — $132 million
A total of 768 highway miles and 248 bridges will be improved between the state and local levels via the fiscal 2012 part of the program. About 60 safety and traffic locations will get repairs, such as modernizing signals and fixing or placing signs.
Kauffman said no particular project takes priority over another, but highway projects and bridges are the main focus. More than half the funding for the state's portion of the program goes toward highways and bridges.
Other areas of funding at the state level include fixing interstate ramps, adding or widening lanes and developing environmentally friendly travel paths.
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