The last round of funding for the historic Rebuild Illinois program went out on Friday. This round of funding was announced by Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and totaled $250 million. This round brings the total investment this year in the project up to $1.5 billion.
Rebuild Illinois will go far beyond this year, however. Over its six-year lifespan, the project should receive nearly $45 billion from the state. These funds will go towards a variety of infrastructure projects, from roads and bridges to broadband internet.
Rebuild Illinois Will Revitalize the State’s Infrastructure
The state passed Rebuild Illinois back in 2019. It was the first capital program investing in the state’s roads since 2009. Its funding comes from these direct investments as well as Illinois’ motor fuel tax. Since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed, the program expects to receive around $16 billion from the federal government.
Pritzker and IDOT started the investment program in an attempt to shore up Illinois’ lagging infrastructure. In 2022, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave Illinois a C- grade on its infrastructure report card. It noted in its report that Illinois’ roads needed special attention.
It’s no surprise, then, that Illinois’ roads will get the bulk of the attention from the program. Of the $44.8 billion the state has committed, roads and bridges will get $25.4 billion. These projects will take place all over the state, from street widenings near Joliet to bridge repairs near Collinsville. With all of these funds, the state can make some serious progress on upgrading its infrastructure.
The largest single project that the program will fund is the Kennedy Expressway improvement. This troubled highway takes drivers into O’Hare and has needed improvements for many years. This program will pour around $561 million into expanding the freeway’s capacity and making its pavement much smoother.