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March 30, 2001

Governor Ryan Announces Program to Fix Winter-Damaged Roads -- Chicago

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $78 million spring road repair program to speed the fix-up of roads throughout the state that were damaged by the winter weather. Nearly $16 million has been earmarked for spring road repairs in Chicago and the collar counties.

Thanks to Illinois FIRST funding for road projects, IDOT has the flexibility to finance the Spring Road Repair Program. The Illinois FIRST five-year highway program will be announced in April.

"The Chicagoland area was hit especially hard, and the roads sustained a lot of damage. With this spring road repair program we'll spend nearly $16 million repairing more than 35 miles of road," Governor Ryan said. "In Cook County alone, we will fix more than 17 miles of roads."

The biggest project in Chicago will be on Peterson Avenue. Nearly $3 million will be used to resurface a 4-mile section, from Cicero Avenue to Ridge Road, damaged by the extreme weather.

"The harsh weather we had in December and January, along with the freeze-thaw cycles we normally experience during the winter months, caused damage to many of our highways," Ryan said. "This program will provide repairs to more than 300 miles of highways throughout Illinois, and will help us restore the riding surface of these highways as quickly as possible."

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will solicit bids for most of the repair work on April 27. The work will address the needs at 241 locations across the state and will be done on an accelerated schedule to ensure completion this spring. Bids on the remaining projects will be sought in June.

This was a record-breaking winter for IDOT, which responded to 46 storms across the state, using 585,000 tons of salt to fight snow and ice conditions on state roadways. Many state highways were damaged from the extreme freeze-thaw action of soil beneath the highways that causes pavement surfaces to crack, buckle, and deteriorate into potholes.

Spring road repair work will include:

  • Patching--pavement removal and replacement of small sections of the worst damaged highways.

  • Intermittent resurfacing -- overlaying the riding surface of short sections of highways.

  • Resurfacing -- overlaying longer sections of highways.

  • Bridge deck overlays -- resurfacing the riding surface on the bridge.

  • Joint repairs -- repair of the joints between concrete slabs of the highway.

  • Cold milling -- removing sections of the driving surface to smooth out bumps, or to prepare the highway for resurfacing.


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