Shutdown of construction projects would halt two in Quad City region

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -Work on more than two billion dollars worth of construction projects in the state, including two in the Quad Cities region , could come to a halt if a state budget isn't passed by July 1st.

Late last week, the Illinois Department  of Transportation began warning contractors that they won't be paid starting the first of July, without a budget.

"You're probably talking 70 to 100 good paying jobs in our area alone," said Brad Long, business manager with Laborers Union Local 309.

"Workers, absolutely they're concerned about it," said Long.

The shutdown of 700 projects statewide would include the reconstruction project on Illinois 84 and the new bridge over the Mississippi River between Savanna and Sabula.

On Monday, State Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna called the threatened shutdown "very real".

"If we don't get this budget done by June 30th," she said, "Savanna-Sabula bridge, jobs are shutting down."

If it happens, to add insult to injury, the cost to shut down ongoing construction projects will add up to nearly 20 million extra dollars, according to IDOT.

But Long says he feels there will be an 11th hour reprieve, just like there was one year ago when lawmakers passed a capital and operating budget  for IDOT and its projects on the last day before the deadline.

"Do I think it's gonna happen? No. I think it's a bluff but I've been wrong before. I hope it's just a bluff," he said.