Business and trade groups say Illinois lawmakers must act quickly on $675 million for new transit projects if they want to see road-graders moving this spring. A revamped federal transportation program means $175 million more for Illinois. State resources are available because past projects cost less than expected and less road-fund money will be diverted to other needs. Doug Whitley is president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition. He says the money won't cost taxpayers more.
But legislation to approve the spending got hung up in the state Senate earlier this month over complaints about other expenditures. Now supporters say it needs approval soon because spring road work will soon be under way.
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