Explore our content

All types | All dates | All authors
Bridges
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:59pm
Tue Sep 30, 2014

Public Interest Group Urges Against 'Wasteful Spending' On Illiana Expressway

An Illinois public interest organization is raising concerns about the proposed Illiana Expressway, saying the privatized toll road that would serve mainly as a trucking corridor "may charge tolls too high to attract trucks, and will likely require hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies."

The Illiana Expressway, a public-private partnership endeavor, is cited as one of 11 highway "boondoggles" across the country in a new report by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund, which is calling on "decision makers to reprioritize scarce transportation dollars to other projects."

The report highlights the proposed 47-mile Illiana tollway, which would connect I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, as an example of "wasteful highway spending based on its outdated assumptions of ever-increasing driving."

"The Illiana Expressway is based on the presumption that traffic in the 18 county region affected by the road will increase by .92 percent annually between 2010 and 2040, as measured in total vehicle miles traveled (VMT)," the Illinois PIRG Education Fund noted. "However, that is more than double the annual rate of increase from 2001 and 2010 (.42 percent). And, since 2010, VMT in the region has been down .49 percent annually."

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."