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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:43pm
Wed Jun 19, 2013

Report: 1 in 12 Illinois Bridges 'Structurally Deficient'

One in 12 bridges in Illinois is "structurally deficient," which is an increase from two years ago, according to a national report from Transportation for America released Wednesday.

Based on an analysis of the U.S. Department on Transportation's National Bridge Inventory data, the report found that nearly 9 percent of Illinois' bridges are structurally deficient, meaning they require significant repair, maintenance or replacement.

On a daily basis, there are more than 8 million trips taken across Illinois' deficient bridges, according to the report, "The Fix We’re In For 2013."

In general, bridges are designed to last 50 years before major fixes are needed. The average age of Illinois' bridges is 40. Nationally, the average age is 43.

In 10 years, 1 in 4 bridges in the country will be older than 65, which is the average age of structurally deficient bridges, according to the report.

"As more bridges reach the end of their life span, we face a growing liability in Illinois and nationally," said Brian Imus, Illinois PIRG's  state director. "Delays in maintenance increase safety risks and ultimately costs taxpayers. The safest approach we can take to Illinois’ infrastructure is to protect the investments we’ve made with needed upgrades."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
7:11pm
Mon Jun 10, 2013

Congress Needs To 'Step Up' Funding For Rail Infrastructure Upgrades, Industry Panelists Say

Ongoing infrastructure upgrades to Illinois’ passenger and rail transportation systems face an uncertain future, as the public-private partnership CREATE program nears the 10-year mark and has less than half of the money needed for completion.

“CREATE has been moving forward, but there’s more work to do,” said U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D, IL-3). “This is about safety, commerce and moving passengers more efficiently, but there is a need for more funding.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:48pm
Wed Jun 5, 2013

Illinois General Assembly Spares Cuts To Education Budget

Early childhood education advocates say the state's budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that passed in the state House and Senate last week is a partial victory. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at how education will be funded under the new budget.

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