By TESA GLASS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Gov. Pat Quinn has announced road projects, including those underway and soon to get underway in Jefferson County.
Quinn unveiled the six year, $12.62 billion transportation construction program for the Illinois Department of Transportation on Wednesday. In fiscal year 2014, the program allocated $2.24 billion for road projects, $128 million for public transportation, $224 million for rail and $68 million for airport improvements.
The total plan also calls for $7.2 billion in anticipated federal funds and $1.9 billion in state funds — the remainder is planned from “local and other sources.”
“Additional bond authorization will be required to continue funding these transportation projects,” information states.
In Jefferson County, the Interstate 57/64 resurfacing of the tri-level interchange is included at an estimated cost of $8.8 million, and includes 2.4 miles. The project is scheduled for fiscal year 2014, the same year the widening of the Interstate through the Mt. Vernon exits is expected to be completed.
Additional resurfacing is scheduled for fiscal year 2015-2019 in Jefferson County, starting two miles south of Dix extending to the Marion County line at an estimated cost of $8.1 million.
The Union Pacific rail spur project, which is underway and funded through IDOT grant funds, is also included in the project list at $1.2 million.
The Mt. Vernon Outland Airport is also in the IDOT program, with $438,000 to rehabilitate and re-mark two taxiways at the facility.
“Maintaining and improving the infrastructure is imperative to promote job and economic growth in Mt. Vernon,” said State Rep. Mike Bost. “Mt. Vernon serves as a hub for jobs in Southern Illinois. Improving the tri-level interchange, constructing a new railroad and repairing the airport taxiways are crucial to the local economy.”
Bost said the spending on the part of the state is not new spending.
“I know the importance of keeping spending under control, this is not new spending,” Bost added. “The projects scheduled to begin in 2014 have been on the books for as long as five years and are now scheduled for completion.”