A 2013 assessment of Illinois' transportation system finds that it is broken, in these ways:
- If no significant investment is made in state transportation funding, 1 in every 3 miles of roads and 1 in every 10 bridges will be in unacceptable condition by 2018
- Large portions of Chicago's CTA transit rail system are in such disrepair that trains must slow every day to reduce stress on the system and ensure passenger safety. On some lines, "slow zones"
are as much as 30 percent of the total length
- Northeastern Illinoisans lose an estimated $8.2 billion a year in productivity from traffic congestion, Chicagoland Operators estimate
This is not a new problem:
An estimated 6,089 miles of state highways needed repair in 2002, based on a six-year gauge of miles in disrepair at that time along with miles that would accrue during the period. That total grew
to 7,458 miles by 2008 and was on pace to hit an astonishing 8,687 miles by 2012. The state's 2009 capital construction program, Illinois Jobs Now, and federal stimulus program helped slow the
growth. In 2012, the backlog was estimated at 7,348 miles in disrepair and to accrue over the next six years.
- The total backlog of miles needing attention will grow rapidly as Illinois Jobs Now ends.
- The total backlog grew from 2,560 miles in 2012 to 3,257 miles in 2013By 2015, the number grows by another 1,000 miles to 4,294 miles in disrepair
- And by 2018, it hits 5,047 miles
Backlog in Bridge Repair:
- There are more than 780 bridges in less than acceptable condition right now in Illinois
- Assuming a 50-year lifespan for bridges, another 774 bridges will hit the unacceptable list over the next five years
- The total bill just to maintain the current system of bridges, assuming an average cost of $3.5 million per bridge, is a whopping $5.4 billion
The full needs assessment is available below.