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State prepares for 200 road, bridge projects

Updated: March 26, 2013 12:58AM

Construction on nearly 200 road and bridge projects statewide will begin in coming weeks. On Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn called it the largest early season construction program in Illinois history.

The “bold” $486 million in projects will put thousands of people to work and lay “the foundation for economic development for years to come,’’ Quinn said in prepared remarks.

Quinn appeared at a news conference at Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn, to announce the news with Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.

The Dan Ryan Expy. is set for a host of bridge repairs, including seven bridge replacements tied to the $32 million reconstruction of the Stony Island Feeder to the Bishop Ford Freeway/I-94. The Kennedy Expy. will see a $19.4 million bridge reconstruction at Cumberland and $3.5 million in other bridge repairs.

Many of the projects were funded through legislation Quinn pushed in his State of the State address earlier this year. On those projects, the Illinois Department of Transportation is offering contractors a reimbursement rate of $10 an hour for hiring graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, which encourages women and minorities to pursue careers in the construction industry.

Combined with the Illinois Tollway’s $12 billion capital program, state officials say Illinois is carrying out one of the largest capital construction efforts in the nation.

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