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As a crossroad to the nation, the Illinois transportation system has been instrumental to the historic growth and stature of Illinois as a hub of commerce. The Illinois transportation network includes interstates, highways, local roads and streets, bridges, airports, transit, passenger and freight railroads and ports and waterways. Together, these facilities move Illinois travelers, businesses and freight and drive economic growth. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has primary responsibility for sustaining, strengthening, expanding, and maintaining the Illinois transportation system. Additionally, the Illinois Tollway plays a vital role in the Chicagoland area and invest substantially in infrastructure. The task is carried out with local, federal and other state stakeholders to ensure the transportation network fosters and supports economic growth.
This paper examines short-term and long-term alternative funding options to support future investments in Illinois infrastructure and the political dimensions involved. The authors lead the Illinois based Sustainable Funding of Infrastructure Group ($FIG) that has become a leading voice for funding of infrastructure. It recently embarked on an imaginative process to enlist and educate Illinois legislators and government official on the need for funding mechanism of infrastructure in Illinois. The authors contend that continued underinvestment in Illinois’ system will cripple the state’s long-term growth and investment needs. Further, a national transportation research group finds that driving on roads in need of repair, costs Illinois motorists $3.7 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs, or $441 per motorist annually. This level will grow with deferred maintenance on the order of $4 in 10 years for every $1 invested today, instead.
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- Strategies for Sustainable Funding of Infrastructure in Illinois, USA
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