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‘These are real, tangible projects’: Gov. Pritzker unveils historic infrastructure investment



‘These are real, tangible projects’: Gov. Pritzker unveils historic infrastructure investment

MCCOOK, Ill. — Governor J.B. Pritzker is back in Illinois after a trade mission to Canada. On Friday, he was in the southwest suburbs to announce the largest investment in infrastructure in state history.

Chicago area motorists have been at the mercy of busy expressways for years, but the governor has unveiled a historic plan to reduce congestion and increase the quality of life for commuters.

“We will continue making historic investments into improving every aspect of our infrastructure and in every part of the state from top to bottom,” Pritzker said.

The governor called the ambitious “Rebuild Illinois” program one of his highest priorities.

It’s outlined in the state budget and capital plan, which will “fix and repair infrastructure,” spending “$41 billion over 6 years.” The focus will be on roads, bridges and safety improvements across the state.

“These are real, tangible projects that will have a direct impact on the strength of our economy and the quality of life for our residents,” Pritzker said.

One part of the plan will focus on I-55, the Stevenson Expressway, a congested corridor that has long frustrated commuters. The state will spend more than $360 million in upgrades.

“We are bringing in 49 bridges into a state of good repair and making improvements to enhance safety, traffic flow, and active transportation,” Ilinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said.

The governor said investments will be made in the airports and waterways as well, but most people are likely to see the progress in the form of roadwork.

“I can say to all of you, ‘Sorry about the orange cones you see if you’re slowed down in traffic,’ but in another way, I’ll say ‘Sorry, not sorry.’ We’re going to have decades of roads and bridges airports and riverports that have been rebuilt and that are the best in the nation.”

Rebuild Illinois was originally passed in 2019, and it remains the largest capital program in state history.

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