Infrastructure

  • Koehler announces grant that will lead to improved Farmington water infrastructure

    koehler 011620SPRINGFIELD – To invest in water system improvements in the community, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development has awarded the City of Farmington $500,000 in the form of Community Development Block Grant, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced today.

     “Thanks to this program, Farmington is at long last being given a chance to make necessary upgrades to outdated water infrastructure. I’m excited to follow this project’s development,” Koehler said.

    The Community Development Block Grant program is a federally funded initiative designed to support community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

  • Historic statewide construction package signed into law

    Historic statewide construction package signed into law

    Communities across the state will see renewed investment in their infrastructure under a bipartisan construction plan approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

    The $45 billion construction package is the culmination of a three-month negotiation process during which lawmakers traveled throughout Illinois to hear input from local officials, educators, transportation experts and other interested parties.

    “We spent months traveling this state and learned more than I thought possible about the infrastructure needs in various communities,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), who co-chaired the committee charged with developing the construction plan. “The result is a comprehensive package that takes into account the testimony we heard and fairly invests in communities in every corner of the state.”

  • 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.”

  • Hearing highlights need for crime lab improvements, more minority contracting opportunities

    capital hrng 050919

  • Bush holds Senate hearing on infrastructure and transportation needs in Lake County

    bush 050719GRAYSLAKE – State lawmakers heard from local elected officials, educators and stakeholders on transportation and infrastructure needs in Lake County today during a Senate capital hearing.

    The hearing, hosted by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), marked the seventh stop on the lawmakers’ statewide tour to hear about local infrastructure concerns and discuss a potential statewide construction plan.

    “What we heard today was not a surprise to me,” Bush said. “When it comes to infrastructure, road congestion is the biggest problem in Lake County. We’ve seen a major population boom in Lake County, but our infrastructure hasn’t kept up with that growth.”

  • Manar: Illinois needs healthy mix of projects in capital plan

    Sen. Andy Manar

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar on Wednesday joined a coalition of labor, higher education and health care advocates in calling for vertical construction projects to be included in a comprehensive statewide infrastructure plan.

    “Illinois needs cranes on campuses and bulldozers at building sites. Construction projects signal that Illinois is open for business,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who is leading conversations in the Senate about statewide construction priorities.

    “Highway and bridge repairs are vitally important, but any statewide infrastructure plan has to balance those priorities with our need for new schools, modern hospitals and 21st century college facilities. There has to be a healthy mix.”

    The newly formed Build Up Illinois coalition comprises groups and associations representing K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, the Illinois hospital system, the Illinois AFL-CIO and affiliated building trades.

  • Sandoval: Input from Peoria-area leaders shows need for statewide construction plan

    Sandoval Peoria Hearing

  • Villivalam calls for clean water jobs program

    Sen. Ram VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – Efforts to modernize the state’s water infrastructure present an opportunity for job growth under a plan State Senator Ram Villivalam introduced this morning alongside environmental, faith and labor advocates.

    “The ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan is a prime example of what can happen to communities when their water infrastructure is neglected by their government for long periods of time,” VIllivalam (D-Chicago) said. “By creating this program, we will provide the training necessary to help Illinois communities avoid a similar fate.”

    SB 2146 would require the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create a Clean Water Workforce Pipeline Program that would provide grants and other financial assistance to prepare people for careers in water infrastructure.

  • Sandoval named to Pritzker’s Infrastructure Committee

    Sandoval named to Pritzker Infrastructure comCHICAGO – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Transportation Committee, was named to Governor-elect JB Pritzker’s Restoring Illinois’ Infrastructure Committee last week.

    “As the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Supplier Diversity, I work to ensure public and private sector institutions offer opportunities for business and job growth for minority, women and Veteran owned businesses, and I’ll do the same on this transition committee,” Sandoval said. “This work will build on the incoming administration’s commitment to building a state government that is representative of the people of Illinois, and I can’t wait to get started.”

    The committee is the 10th of several working groups of the transition to help guide the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration. The committee will be chaired by Senator Sandoval, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Congressman Dan Lipinski, Congressman-elect Jesús Garcia, and State Rep. Jay Hoffman. The committee consists of 45 members.

    “Illinois’ role as a transportation hub for the nation is a critical component of our economy,” said Governor-elect JB Pritzker. “My administration will prioritize a comprehensive 21st Century Capital Bill to build the infrastructure we need to restore Illinois’ place as an economic leader.”

    Sandoval said he looks forward to continuing to serve Illinois and the residents of the Southwest Side of Chicago.

    “Governor-elect Pritzker and I are both committed to moving Illinois forward,” Sandoval said. “I look forward to this opportunity to serve with such a diverse and hard-working committee.

  • Harris overrides Rauner veto denying safe, affordable drinking water to poor suburbs

    harris 111518SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) led a successful effort this week to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill to help economically disadvantaged communities in Cook County shore up their water infrastructure.

    “Smaller Cook County suburbs lack the funding to make necessary repairs to their infrastructure and have a small chance of qualifying for state loan programs,” Harris said. “We now have a way for towns like Harvey and Ford Heights to access the capital funds needed to provide residents with safe drinking water.”

    In October 2017 the Chicago Tribune found Ford Heights residents pay nearly six times more for the same water usage as residents of the wealthy, predominantly white town of Highland Park, and four times more for water than people living in Chicago. Similar problems exist in Harvey and Maywood.

    Eight towns surveyed by the Tribune — Hometown, East Hazel Crest, Posen, Burnham, Riverdale, Flossmoor, Lyons and Maywood — lost more than 30 percent of their water. Of the 10 towns with the highest water rates, 50 percent have majority black populations.

    The legislation would set up a drinking water grant program under the Illinois EPA to fix aging water pipes in Harvey, Ford Heights, Maywood and other towns.

    The legislation goes into effect immediately.