Closer Look: $2B in road projects threatened by stalemate

EDINBURG, Ill. (AP) — Some $2 billion in road construction projects will be shut down July 1 in Illinois without a state budget agreement.

An Associated Press analysis of Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that collectively work on the 19 largest projects is less than halfway done in terms of money spent. Those projects are worth more than $1 billion by themselves, and range from reconstruction of the Jane Byrne interchange in Chicago to the resurfacing of a lonely southern Illinois stretch of Interstate 57.

Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn says it won’t only disrupt traffic and pose potential safety hazards. Stopping and re-starting projects would cost tens of millions of dollars in “avoidable” costs.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is hoping Democrats in the Legislature will approve stopgap funding to keep government running because the two sides have been unable to agree on spending for a second straight year.