A group of business and labor leaders says you pay less if you catch a leaky roof before it caves in – and it’s the same way with roads and bridges. The Transportation for Illinois Coalition has put out a report called “Time to Act: Reauthorize Federal Highway/Transit Funding.” It urges Illinois’ congressional delegation to get a big transportation bill passed. Otherwise, the coalition says, Illinois’ state roads will be rated “unacceptable” on almost one of every four miles by 2017.
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The current pace, says the report, shows the roads wearing out 33 percent faster than they are being fixed. “The private sector cannot build their own airports, their own left-turn lanes, their own interstate highways,” says Illinois Chamber of Commerce president Doug Whitley, a co-chairman of the coalition. “We are very much dependent on the government taking the lead,” adds Whitley, saying the transportation network is one of Illinois’ greatest selling points. Another point for our representatives to consider: Whitley says new and improved roads would look good in a district where someone is running for re-election.