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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2004

IDOT Fiscal Year 2005 capital budget focuses on system preservation and economic development
Opportunity Returns Brings Infrastructure Infusion

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today presented a $5.7 billion Fiscal Year 2005 Capital Budget for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) that emphasizes system preservation and maintenance.  The FY05 capital budget also lays the groundwork for the state’s economic recovery through infrastructure projects included under Governor Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns.
 
“Our transportation system is one of the driving forces of our economy,” Governor Blagojevich said. “By maintaining the system already in place and targeting new projects with proven economic development potential through Opportunity Returns, we are investing in our future, making sure the goods and services that make up our economy can be moved quickly and efficiently.  IDOT’s capital budget is based on fiscal reality, not wishful thinking or smoke and mirrors,” Governor Blagojevich said. “This budget puts men and women to work right now through the construction jobs created by Opportunity Returns and the road program.”
 
This comprehensive capital transportation budget allows IDOT to focus on continued modernization of public transportation, upgrades to our aviation system, maintenance of roads and bridges and upgrades to rail freight and passenger service.
 
The proposed budget includes $1.75 billion for highway construction and maintenance. This reflects an increase of $36 million from IDOT’s announced FY04 annual program. This increase is a result of $500 million from Governor Blagojevich’s economic development program Opportunity Returns. The Road Program appropriation is broken down as follows:
 
FY05 Road Program
Opportunity Returns    $500 million
State Construction       $1,065 million
Road Fund                   $185 million
Total                            $1,750 million
 
Other major expenditures in the proposed budget include:
·        $81 million to assist with the development of public transportation infrastructure in northeast Illinois and downstate communities.
·        $226.7 million for airport improvements. This total includes $16.2 million in state funds to match federal and local dollars for projects at Downstate and General Aviation airports.
 

Highways and Bridges

The investment in our highways and bridges will ensure the state’s ability to keep pace with the deterioration of our roads and bridges, allowing for safer and more reliable transportation. Reducing congestion will continue with a combination of road improvements and traffic management technologies.
 
This spring Governor Blagojevich will release a detailed list of highway and bridge improvements for FY05 and their estimated costs.
 
Some major projects that will continue in the upcoming year include.
·        Dan Ryan Reconstruction- I-94/90 from 31st Street to south of the I-57 interchange.
·        Robert Kingery Reconstruction- I-80 from I-94 to the Indiana State line.
·        Upgrade 74- Reconstruction of I-74 through Peoria from Sterling Avenue to Washington Street in East Peoria.
 
Local governments will see an estimated increase in the assistance they receive through the motor fuel tax distribution program of almost $10 million during FY ’05. The amount of money distributed to counties, townships and municipalities will total nearly $644 million.
 
Public Transportation
Governor Blagojevich believes that public transportation plays an important role in the state’s overall transportation system. The Governor has budgeted  $96 million in new funds for public transportation in FY05. These funds will support the purchase of new buses, rapid transit rail cars and commuter rail cars, as well as the rehabilitation of structures, tracks and stations.
 
Some of the major Public Transportation projects scheduled during FY ’05 include:
·        CTA- Rehabilitation of the Brown and Blue lines, purchase of up to 700 new rail cars.
·        Metra- Improvements to North Central Service, Union Pacific West Line and Southwest Service Line.
·        Rock Island- Expansion/Renovation of the Mass Transit Facility.
·        Galesburg- Construction of a new Transit Facility.
·        Bloomington-Normal- New Transit Facility.
 
 
Airports
Governor Blagojevich is proposing a budget that includes $226.7 million in state, local and federal funds for work at airports across the state. These funds will be used to increase safety at local airports as well as rehabilitate and build runways and taxiways. The comprehensive airport improvement plan Governor Blagojevich is proposing is targeted to promote economic growth to increase Illinois’ ability to attract businesses.
 
Projects important to local airports and the communities they serve that are unlikely to receive federal funding have been slated to receive $16 million dollars in bond funding.


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