Forty-five billion dollars is a lot of money, and a portion of that will be spent in central Illinois as the projects funded by the Rebuild Illinois state-funded infrastructure program begin. Citizens should soon see workers on the job at several local road, university and state facility projects as the spring construction season opens.
“We are optimistic about it. It’s good for everybody, not only contractors but suppliers, subcontractors, just all the way around,” said Siciliano Inc. president Rick Lawrence. “It’s employing people, too. It’s a very positive thing.”
Lawrence said Springfield-based Siciliano hopes to bid on several Rebuild Illinois projects, whether it’s new construction or deferred maintenance work.
“There has been a drought in state work the past few years. There are a lot of state facilities that haven’t had maintenance done on them because the funds weren’t there, and this should open that up,” Lawrence said.
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John Goetz, president of Springfield-based R.D. Lawrence Construction Co., Ltd., is also looking forward to doing Rebuild Illinois work.
“Right now it’s kind of slow, so we are optimistic that we will be looking at a good amount of work coming up,” Goetz said. “The contractors pay a good living wage and I think that means a lot to a local community when contractors are busy and put the money back into the community several times over.”
Several high-profile construction projects are included in the Rebuild Illinois program. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has a $137.4 million project that includes road reconstruction and additional lanes on I-55 between half a mile north of Sangamon Avenue to approximately 2.7 miles south of Illinois Route 123 in Williamsville. A construction timeline has not been established, but the project is part of the department’s multiyear plan covering fiscal years 2020 through 2025.
“IDOT is continuing with a study for adding lanes to I-55/I-72 from south of the Sixth Street interchange to north of the Sherman interchange,” said IDOT spokesman Paul Wappel. “It is anticipated that the study will be completed by the spring of 2021.”