MOLINE -- The widening of John Deere Road from 38th to 70th Street will start next spring, according to Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider who, on Monday, unveiled the work as part of the 2013-2018 multi-modal transportation program.
During a news conference at Centre Station, Ms. Schneider said the project -- which includes intersection improvements at 38th and 41st streets -- will cost $51.4 million. It is the largest project in Rock Island County scheduled within the six-year program.
In all, the $9.2 billion six-year statewide program designates $621 million for road and bridge projects in District 2, which includes Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside, Jo Daviess, Winnebago, Lee, Stephenson, Boone, Ogle and Carroll counties.
Not included, however, is money for construction of the new Interstate 74 bridge. Ms. Schneider, however, said IDOT will spend $1.5 million on bridge rehabilitation between 2014 and 2018.
"I know the bridge is a big issue," she said. "The fact is, at this point, we are not in a position where we can fund significant dollars toward (construction). But we do recognize its importance, and we have it as our No. 1 priority as we go forward to bring it into the program as quickly as we can.
"We are committed to the bridge," she said. "To date, we have programmed more than $34 million toward the bridge to include preliminary engineering and land acquisition."
Other area projects in the six-year plan include:
-- $30.1 million for Interstate 80: 29.9 miles of resurfacing in Henry County, from half a mile east of the I-74/I-80 interchange to the Bureau County line, programmed 2014-2018.
-- $27 million for Interstate 280: New bridge deck, bridge rehabilitation, bridge repair and engineering, programmed 2014-2018
-- $7.7 million for I-280: 7 miles of resurfacing, patching and cold milling from .4 miles east of Airport Road in Milan to 1.3 miles east of the Rock Island County line, programmed 2014-2018.
-- $700,000, Crosstown Avenue in Silvis: One mile resurfaced from 1st Street to Illinois 5, programmed 2013.
Ms. Schneider said the transportation improvement program includes $6.5 billion in federal transportation funds, $2.2 billion in state funds and $454 million in local funds.
Of the state funds, $1.2 billion are Illinois Jobs Now bond funds. The rest of the state money comes from vehicle registration fees and Motor Fuel Taxes, both which have been declining or flat revenue sources for IDOT, she said.
With the money it has available, IDOT has committed to ensuring at least 90 percent of its bridges maintain a ranking of acceptable or better during the six-year plan. Right now, 88 percent of state highways rank acceptable, Ms. Schneider said. By 2018, the percentage will drop to 68 percent, she said.
The transportation improvement program is smaller than recent years, she noted, and IDOT will continue to face challenges as it moves forward.
"The department has made every effort to size the program for 2013 and beyond appropriately," she said, noting projects scheduled for FY 2013 are funded.
Erick Therkildsen, IDOT acting director of highways for Region 2, said the John Deere Road construction project will take three years. It will start with construction of the 38th Street overpass. Ms. Schneider said the road is sorely in need of reconstruction and repair.
"This is a project of major importance that will support thousands of jobs in the Quad-Cities," she said.
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.