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Report shows need to invest in Illinois’ transportation network

­pothole 051619SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, TRIP research group and state lawmakers from across the aisle for a press conference Wednesday to discuss findings from a report released by TRIP that shows major deficiencies in Illinois’ transportation network.

“This report has confirmed what we already knew about our transportation system in Illinois – it’s in dire condition and we need to address the problem before it poses even greater safety risks those who use it,” Sandoval said.

The Trip report, “Illinois Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” found that more than 40 percent of roads maintained by state and local government in Illinois are in poor or mediocre condition and that eight percent of state and locally maintained bridges are rated poor or structurally deficient.

The report further found that the poor condition of Illinois’ roads is costing motorists a total of $18.3 billion per year in extra costs to operate and maintain their vehicle.

“This report highlights how expensive it can be for Illinois drivers when the state does not maintain its basic infrastructure,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “A stronger transportation system is vital to stronger business and a stronger Illinois. We must act now to improve our economy and quality of life in Illinois through infrastructure investment.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation projects that, under current funding levels, the percentage of state-maintained roads and bridges in need of repairs will increase significantly in the next five years.

“We can either find new revenue to fix this problem now or wait for our roads and bridges to deteriorate further, which will cost taxpayers more later,” Sandoval said. “The choice is easy. We need to make an investment now to improve public safety and protect taxpayers from even higher costs in the future.”

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life.”

Traffic crashes in Illinois claimed the lives of over 5,000 people between 2013 and 2017.

“Poor road and bridge conditions are claiming lives in Illinois,” Sandoval said. “This is a safety issue and, as lawmakers, we have the responsibility to make sure it gets fixed.”

Sen. Martin A. Sandoval

Majority Caucus Whip
11th District

Years served: 2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities; Transportation (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Full-time state legislator, born in The Back of the Yards, graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where he earned a Bachelor's of Science in psychology; married (wife, Marina) has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Michael J. Madigan
Celina Villanueva