OUR VIEWPOINT: Roadworks a blessing in the open (copy) | Editorial
Pantagraph Editorial Board
If we share a single complaint from the community, it’s something we all use regularly.
We share an interest in improving our infrastructure. The reason why infrastructure is so often discussed is that it is all around us, it needs to be improved, and as soon as a repair is complete another priority emerges.
We have yet to see the approval of the big, sweeping infrastructure plans across the country. We have waited for this through several administrations. Relatively speaking, infrastructure is an easy topic to ignore. If the roads and bridges hold together, if the electricity stays on, if the sewers don’t back up, then everything is (relatively) fine. There is always something urgent to fix
But infrastructure is also vital. It’s the kind of thing we don’t notice until we get rid of it. Or we become oblivious to what we notice. There is this bridge that we try to avoid, there is this pothole that we skillfully roll around every day.
The climate change wildcard will inevitably show its results, and that’s another factor to consider.
A 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers infrastructure report on Illinois gave the state a C-minus overall, and its roads were rated D. In 2017, the organization gave the United States a D-plus overall and a D for its routes. . Funding estimates for repairs start at an inconceivable $ 1 trillion, and that’s just a starting point.
To say that the roads need to be fixed is hardly new to anyone who drives. Weather is disrupting the surfaces we travel on, with three-digit extremes above zero and two-digit extremes below zero, not to mention summer and winter precipitation.
These repairs have to start somewhere, and we’re starting to see it working as it is now. A statewide capital plan, Rebuild Illinois, will invest $ 33.2 billion in all modes of transportation, including $ 25.3 billion specifically for roads and bridges. The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to rebuild more than 3,300 miles of freeway and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck over the next six years.
In its first year, the Illinois Reconstruction Plan completed $ 2.7 billion in statewide improvements, including repairs to 1,706 miles of freeway and 128 bridges, in addition of 228 security improvements.
That the work – and the construction complaints that keep us from going easily where we want to go – continue
And while we’re there, let’s also keep an eye out for farm vehicles that are or will soon be on the roads doing their fall jobs. Keep an eye on everyone who is working.
Photos: Construction begins on the Obama Presidential Center