The final phase of the state’s construction program is under way. The governor signed it into law Wednesday. It’s the third phase, the final $2.7 billion of the overall six-year, $31 billion program. “It is a major investment in jobs in our state,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “I was governor for 10 weeks and we were able to get the capital construction/public works bill passed, and this is the last installment of it. It had to be (go) through the Legislature this year. It includes the funding for the Circle Interchange, and many more roads and bridges in Illinois.”
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The governor signed the bill near the Circle Interchange, on the western edge of downtown Chicago. That facility – the junction of I-90/94, I-290 and Congress Parkway – is now 51 years old and congested and outdated. It will be rebuilt at a cost of $475 million, the biggest single project in state history. Overall, the construction program has produced more than 7,000 miles of road repair and construction, and 1,170 bridges have been built or repaired, the governor said. The legislation the governor signed authorizes him to spend the proceeds of recent and upcoming bond sales. The governor noted that the state would be able to borrow at a cheaper rate if its public pension problems were satisfactorily resolved.