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Construction Jobs in Illinois Will Skyrocket in 2011

Posted on April 19, 2010

Illinois plans a record $5 billion in road work in the next fiscal year, which will open up thousands of construction jobs in Illinois.

Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig on Thursday said that will be a record amount.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced a five-year, $12.84 billion highway improvement program for 2011 to 2016.

State Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said the $5 billion number isn’t limited to projects that will be started and completed this year. It includes projects begun earlier, but not yet completed and also projects that will start this year, but not be completed for several construction seasons.

Still, Hannig said, just a couple of years ago, the comparable number was less than $3 billion.

That includes $2.5 billion for the budget year that begins July 1. Combined with existing work, it will be a record construction year.

The five-year total also includes more than $2.5 billion in state funds that will be borrowed from the capital construction plans the Legislature adopted last year.

The plan will rehabilitate 4,739 miles of highways and replace or fix 763 bridges.

It is being funded by $7.292 billion in federal funding, $4.888 billion in state funding, and $142 million in bonds from Quinn’s Illinois Jump Start Capital Plan, $2.49 billion for the Illinois Jobs Now! bond program, and another $660 million in local funds, according to a news release.

About $2.5 billion is from the Illinois Jobs Now public works program approved by lawmakers last year. Bonds issued to pay for the program are to be repaid in part by state licensing of video gambling devices. Local communities were given the option of saying “no” to the devices, and some have. Quinn, though, said thatwill not affect the capital program.

Work on a new bridge across the Mississippi River at East St. Louis will begin this year.

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