The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) introduced its six-year capital improvement program on July 7 that provides “a comprehensive approach to invest in all modes of transportation: Roads and bridges, aviation, transit, freight and passenger rail, waterways, as well as bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.”
The $40.99 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2024-29 Proposed Highway and Multimodal Improvement Program will target investments that include:
- $27.03 billion in roads and bridges
- $9.85 billion for transit
- $2.67 billion for freight and passenger rail
- $1.25 billion for aviation
- $190 million for ports and waterways
State officials explain the plan is pushed by the success of the state’s 2019 plan, Rebuild Illinois, a capital plan that included $4.5 billion for transit and $1 billion for passenger rail.
"Over the next six years, we're investing over $40 billion to improve all modes of transportation across our great state. That means better roads and bridges, modernized transit and aviation and expanded and faster passenger rail service," said Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. "Rebuild Illinois has increased safety, efficiency and opportunities for residents all over the state — and over the next few years, we will keep building on that progress, with all 102 counties of Illinois included in the multi-year program."
The “Fiscal Year 2024-29 Proposed Highway and Multimodal Improvement Program” proposes a total investment of $1.07 billion in the state’s transit systems in FY24. The proposal recognizes reliable funding for transit “allows for the provision and stability of transit operations.”
The Rebuild Illinois capital program created three new transit funding programs: The Multimodal Transportation Bond Fund, the Regional Transportation Authority Capital Improvement Fund and the Downstate Mass Transportation Capital Improvement Fund. This past January, IDOT awarded $113.8 million in capital grants to downstate transit providers (those outside the Chicago region) as part of the third and final round of Rebuild Illinois Multimodal Transportation Bond and Pay-Go Funds.
The proposed program also notes the importance of passenger rail as part of a balanced transportation system. The proposal points to the recent growth passenger rail travel in Illinois has experienced as an indicator of why more investment is needed. The six-year capital program includes $1.58 billion for maintenance, safety repairs and other capital improvements of the state’s passenger rail systems. This amount includes $242 million for the Illinois High-Speed Rail Project between Chicago and St. Louis, which started operating 110 mph trains last month. Additional passenger rail corridors earmarked for funding include Chicago to Quad Cities, Chicago to Rockford and Chicago to Carbondale.
Through FY 23, IDOT reports Rebuild Illinois has made approximately $12.1 billion in improvements statewide on 5,339 miles of highway, 533 bridges and 762 additional safety improvements.