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Illinois receives poor transportation grades from ratings groups

Illinois roadsIllinois roadways are in very poor shape, according to two groups who rate the quality of states’ transportation systems.

Reports from the American Society of Engineers (ASCE) and AAA say Illinois’ transportation system is in dire need of investment and that travelers are facing increased costs due to the poor condition of roads and bridges.

In their infrastructure report card, ASCE gave Illinois’ roadways a D grade, stating that Illinois motorists are now paying a combined $4.8 billion a year or $566 per motorist in vehicle repairs due to these conditions.

A survey of Illinois residents from AAA shows that 60 percent of people do not believe that Illinois’ current transportation funding is adequate to maintain roads and bridges. Almost three quarters of Illinois’ residents rate the quality of roads and bridges in the state as fair or poor.

“Funding for roadways is nearing a crisis,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA - The Auto Club Group. “AAA supports raising the federal fuel tax, as it is the most viable short-term solution, provided the funds are invested in transportation improvements that increase safety and decrease congestion. AAA supports the continued evaluation of alternative long-term funding solutions by federal and state policymakers, including tolling and road usage charges.”

The reports come as Illinois senators consider introducing a spending plan to fund construction projects throughout the state. A Senate subcommittee is currently traveling the state to hear from local communities about the infrastructure needs in their communities.

The next subcommittee hearing will take place Monday, April 22in Elgin at the Gail Borden Public Library.

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