Gov. JB Pritzker speaks during a press conference last Friday about the new multi-year program that provides billions in funding to the Illinois Department of Transportation. | Photo: Illinois Information Service

(The Center Square) – Gov. JB Pritzker announced the next phase of “Rebuild Illinois,” which includes over $34 billion in funding for road, bridge and transit projects in the state.

Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation held a press conference last week to announce the latest multi-year plan with many kinds of projects around the state.

The upcoming phase is part of Pritzker’s $34.6 billion Rebuild Illinois plan that is paid for with tax and fee increases, including a doubling of the state’s gas tax in 2019.

“The investment we are making in our bridges and roads is our highest yet,” Pritzker said at the press conference last Friday.

“This multi-year project covers over $20 billion of transportation investments including 2,500 miles of roads and nearly 10 million square feet of the bridge deck,” Pritzker said.

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IDOT also announced the state would use a design-build instead of a design-bid-build process.

IDOT Secretary Omer Osman said this could save money by eliminating one of the steps in the building process.

“A design-build eliminates one step from the process,” Osman said.

“The traditional is your design, you bid and you build. All three are separate teams. This puts the designer and the contractor together in one room,” Osman said.

According to Osman, construction prices have increased significantly over the past year due to record high inflation.

“The inflation has caused at least a 10% increase in the prices,” Osman said. “Sometimes it depends on the project itself.”

The funding will be split into projects for highway reconstruction and preservation, bridge improvements, strategic expansion, engineering and land acquisition, and safety and system modernizations.

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Approximately $24.6 billion will go towards highway projects and $10 billion will be for transit, rail, airport and port projects.

This phase of the Rebuild Illinois plan is expected to be completed by 2028.