WHITESIDE COUNTY, Illinois -- Governor J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced billions of dollars for roads and bridges with a new focus on maintenance. The Rebuild Illinois Highway Improvement Program includes 23.5 billion dollars in infrastructure funding -- about 42 million of which will be spent in Whiteside County.
That includes about 1.5 million dollars over the next five to six years at the U.S. Route 30 bridge spanning the Mississippi River from Illinois to Clinton, Iowa.
"You don't see any obvious signs of it falling apart or anything like that. I mean it's just good maintenance practice to do those types of minor repairs," said Russ Renner, the county engineer for Whiteside County.
Another five million dollars will be spent on a stretch of Illinois 78 from the Carroll County line to U.S. 30 to improve culverts and rehab the road surface. Cracks and worn-out joints can be seen on the road, but it's typical of state roads across Whiteside County.
"It seems like it makes a lot of sense where they're spending the money, and it's going to be nice to see those roads done," said Renner.
Meanwhile, this year's gas tax hike from 19 to 38 cents a gallon has had the biggest impact on county budgets.
"Our Motor Fuel Tax money is mainly used on maintenance projects," said Renner. "I mean, we typically aren't rebuilding roads, that's just not even in our realm of possibility with the money that we have," he said.