Illinois Earns a “C-” in New Infrastructure Report Card
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – According to Civil Engineers throughout the state, Illinois’ infrastructure continues to falter, jeopardizing the state’s economic future despite recent investments. In a new report, titled the 2014 Report Card for Illinois’ Infrastructure, the Illinois Sections of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded the state’s infrastructure a grade of “C-.” The lowest grade awarded was a “D-” for Illinois’ old and underfunded navigable waterways system. The Report Card’s highest grade of a “C+” was awarded to the state’s bridge and aviation sectors, the latter of which has seen critical investment over the last few years.
The last Illinois Report Card in 2010 awarded the state a “D+.” Since that time, leaders at the state and local levels – large and small – have started to take some small steps to fix Illinois’ aging infrastructure. However, the new Report Card shows that much more work remains.
Of note, the Report Card shows that Illinois’ infrastructure continues to age while the population continues to increase:
- The Illinois rail network is the 2nd largest in the country and Chicago is the single largest rail hub in the nation. Amtrak ridership in Illinois increased 85 percent between 2006 and 2011. Rail freight volume is expected to double by 2025, which will cause additional rail congestion and traffic-related delays in the Chicago area unless continued investments are made.
- Between 1990 and 2012, vehicle travel on Interstate highways in Illinois increased 25 percent. During the same period, the population grew by 13 percent and lane miles on the system increased just 11 percent. Congestion is estimated to cost $4.2 billion annually for the Chicago area alone, and 42 percent of Illinois major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
- Current multi-year capital needs for transit systems in northeastern Illinois are over $2 billion annually, while transit ridership in the region is 5 percent higher than it was in 2010. Northeast Illinois is significantly under-investing in its transit systems when compared to other large metropolitan areas in the U.S. and overseas.
- Illinois has the 3rd largest bridge inventory in the nation, with 16 percent of bridges in Illinois classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. While this number is better than the national average, inevitable increases in the number of trucks and axle loads will degrade roads and bridges more rapidly.
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Posted by FanningCommunications
on May 1st, 2014 and filed under News
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