Without a state budget for the new fiscal year, the Illinois Department of Transportation, or IDOT, is preparing to shut down construction and engineering projects starting June 30.


IDOT spokeswoman Gianna Urgo said they’ve begun informing industry partners that all transportation projects in both construction and engineering phases are scheduled to shut down next week. More than 800 projects across the state are in jeopardy. Urgo said that’s due to lawmakers’ failure to pass a balanced budget.


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Kevin Burke, executive vice president of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association, said this would harm the state in several ways.


“There’s a potential for 25,000 employees to be laid off during the peak of construction season,” Burke said.


“That month or two off could mean that projects that were anticipated to be done this year won’t even be started until next year.”


IDOT will be working with contractors, Burke said, to ensure the roadways are open as much as possible but the work zones will still be enforced.


Burke said funding construction projects isn’t a partisan issue.


“Illinois DOT, 99 percent of their funding comes from the road fund and the construction account which has balances in there,” he said. “There is no budget deficit associated with those accounts.”   


Burke also pointed out that last week the state sold $550 million in bonds to help fund construction projects.


The next fiscal year starts July 1.


(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)