New Illinois law touted to benefit transportation work selection
August 31, 2021
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a bill to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s transportation system. The new law builds on the state’s 3-year-old transportation performance program.
The Rebuild Illinois capital plan was approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker during the 2019 regular session.
The most notable component of the plan was the doubling of the state’s fuel tax rates.
Prior to passage in 2019, the state collected 19 cents on each gallon of gas sold and 21.5 cents on diesel.
As part of a $45 billion capital plan, the state’s fuel tax rates increased to 38 cents and 45.5 cents. The fuel tax rates were also tied to inflation.
“The Rebuild Illinois plan will reinvigorate our economy and strengthen our rightful status as the transportation and supply chain hub of the nation,” Pritzker said at the time in prepared remarks.
The plan is estimated to raise $25.3 billion over six years for roads and bridges. Another $4.6 billion will be allotted for mass transit. Ports are estimated to receive $150 million and miscellaneous transportation projects are expected to collect $679 million.
Transportation performance program
The Legislature voted this spring to approve a bill that is intended to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.
Gov. Pritzker acted this month to sign into law HB253 to develop and implement a transportation performance program. The program will be used to improve the process for which road and bridge projects get priority.
As a result, the Illinois Department of Transportation will establish a systemic management plan. Project selection will be prioritized by factors that include congestion mitigation or improved traffic operations, economic development, livability, environmental impact, accessibility, and safety.
“Illinois is the transportation hub of North America. With the distinction comes a huge responsibility that we are investing resources equitably, fairly and in locations where they make the most sense and do the most good,” stated Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. LL
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