September 27, 2021
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A newly passed state law is requiring the Illinois Department of Transportation to establish and implement a performance program to improve the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the state’s transportation system.

[Above photo by the Illinois DOT]

The new law also requires the agency to develop a statewide highway system asset management plan with the goal of preserving and improving the conditions of highway and bridge assets and enhance the existing system while reducing costs.

Photo by the Illinois DOT

The law – House Bill 253 – went into effect immediately and requires the agency to put “equity and data” at the heart of its transportation project planning process; using performance measures to guide project selection and capital investment decisions to increase “transparency” about project impacts and assuring that the benefits and burdens of the state’s transportation system are “fairly distributed.”

As a result, beginning January 1, 2022, the Illinois DOT will be required to select projects for inclusion in their multi-year plan based on a selection process that weighs a variety of factors including congestion mitigation or improved traffic operations, economic development, livability, environmental impact, accessibility, and safety.

Gov. Pritzker. Photo by the Illinois DOT

“I’m proud that Illinois is a supply chain hub for the nation and this administration is committed to investing in our infrastructure to ensure we maintain that vital role,” noted Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) in a statement.

“This legislation will empower the hardworking team at IDOT to ensure those investments go as far as possible,” he said. “And by establishing a performance-based project selection process, the administration is doubling-down on our commitment to being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

Omer Osman (at podium). Photo by the Illinois DOT.

“Illinois is the transportation hub of North America. With the distinction comes a huge responsibility that we are investing resources equitably, fairly and in locations where they make the most sense and do the most good,” added Omer Osman, secretary of the Illinois DOT.

“Thanks to Gov. Pritzker’s vision and the support of the General Assembly, we are making historic improvements in our transportation system,” he said. “Now we will have even more tools that will strengthen our project-selection process and make it more transparent.”

editor@aashto.org

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