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Construction Jobs in Illinois Rank First

Posted on August 24, 2009

Part of the goal of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was to create work for many of the country’s unemployed citizens. The idea worked better in one state, creating several construction jobs in Illinois and helping the state’s economy as a whole.

The Federal Highway Administration recently announced that Illinois ranked first among all 50 states as far as total expenditure of ARRA funds. So far, the federal economic stimulus has provided Illinois with $170,605,614, which is almost three times the expenditures in the next highest ranked state.

As a result of the stimulus bill, 239 highway projects have been started and 45 have been completed. On top of that, $180 million has been paid to contractors and consultants. Another 268 highway contracts have been awarded, totaling about $552 million.

“Illinois is committed to spending federal recovery funds in a targeted, timely and transparent manner,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “Today’s announcement is evidence of our hard work to make sure we are taking full advantage of the recovery program and getting the people of Illinois back to work.”

The expenditures measured by the FHWA are funds paid to that organization to reimburse the Illinois Department of Transportation for the cost of construction of ARRA projects that are either completed or still under construction.

Overall, Illinois has the third-highest number of ARRA projects obligated, the fourth-highest percentage of funds spent and the 16-th highest in obligation of funding. Obligations are the total expected cost stimulus-funded projects.

“We are very happy to hear Illinois is among the best in the nation for our efforts in implementing the federal recovery program,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said. “It took a lot of hard work and dedication by many to quickly bring active construction to such a large number of projects, but we took on the challenge and successfully put construction crews back to work to help revive the state’s economy.”

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