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Picking Projects

How Illinois selects projects for funding.

Across Illinois, pressing transportation needs far exceed our state's available resources. In the context dictated by an arbitrary 55/45 split, IDOT must make difficult tradeoffs among various types of projects, relying on the assessment methods described below.

While maintenance projects have specific goals and merit-based decision-making, modernization and expansion projects use more generalized goals with no transparent process for determining how tradeoffs lead to project prioritization. It is unclear which data the Department uses to evaluate modernization and expansion projects or how these data enter into the decision-making process. Additionally, relevant stakeholders, including metropolitan regions, do not participate in these processes.

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IDOT Project Selection Process

  • Maintenance Projects

    • FY 2014-19 Total
      • $4.9 billion (71% of State program)
    • Specific Goals
      • Roads: 90% either adequate or accruing status
      • Bridges: 93% either adequate or accruing status
    • Data Used
      • Roads: survey of pavement conditions
      • Bridges: inspection of substructures, decks, and superstructures
    • Assessment Categories
      • Backlog*
      • Accruing**
      • Adequate***
  • Modernization and Expansion Projects

    • FY 2014-19 Total
      • $2.0 billion (29% of State program)
    • General Goals
      • Congestion mitigation
      • Improve traffic flow
      • Economic needs
      • Safety needs
      • Political support

NOTE: The above FY 2014-19 data refers to the state highway program.  Based on IDOT's classification, the Maintenance Projects column of this chart includes two categories: System Maintenance and Bridge Maintenance.  The Modernization and Expansion Projects column includes the IDOT categories "Congestion Mitigation" and "System Expansion."
 

*IDOT refers to Backlog as "needs improvement." 

** IDOT refers to Accruing as "expected to deteriorate to Backlog status" over a five- or six-year period.

*** IDOT refers to Adequate as "not in need of immediate improvement and not expected to deteriorate to Backlog status" within a five- or six-year period.

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