Illinois Funding Needs Assessment

Illinois’ infrastructure needs are extraordinary and growing. An assessment of Illinois’ transportation system finds that it is broken, in the following ways.
  • EACH DAY, there are an average of 9.3 MILLION trips across the 2,303 structurally deficient bridges in Illinois. 
  • There are major funding shortfalls for transit. RTA is expected to be $10.6 billion short of their $16.6 billion of  needed funding and CREATE is expected to have $2.3 billion shortfall. Major investments to the railroad infrastructure in Illinois will also be needed to accommodate the expected 30 percent growth in future freight rail traffic over the next three decades, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 
  • Motorists spend an average $566 per year, per motorists in vehicle repair costs because of poor road conditions.
  • Chicago ranks 8th nationally for the top most congested U.S. cities. This congestion costs a loss of time and productivity, which equates to nearly $305 billion for 2017 alone, and an average of $1,445 per person.
  • Chicago's airports account for 48.5 million passengers annually, as well as 4.7 million tons of cargo each year. Projected funding needs are more than $5 billion over the next five years to accommodate for the 32 percent increase in demand for infrastructure since 2015, according to ASCE. 

Not a New Problem

One out of every three miles of highways and major urban roads in Illinois are in poor or mediocre condition. Only a little more than half are in good condition. Current funding levels, if continued, are expected to cause the further decline of Illinois' road and highway infrastructure network, according to the 2018 TRIP report.


According to IDOT's Multi-Year Program for 2020-2025, the state's backlog of roadways that are in need of immediate repair has grown from approximately 1,700 miles in the year 2000, to an estimated 3,300 in 2018, and is expected to grow to 5,588 miles by the current MYP's end in 2024.

The few times where dips occurred in the backlog only occurred after the 2009 capital construction program, Illinois Jobs Now!, and the federal stimulus program helped slow down the backlog of miles in disrepair. 

It's Not Only Roads

There are 2,303 bridges in Illinois right now that are structurally-deficient.  The total bill estimated to fix the current list of structurally deficient bridges in Illinois is $10 billion -- far less than the $2.6 billion amount allocated for bridge maintenance funding by IDOT's Multi-Year Program.

Staggering Costs

TFIC estimates it would take between $31.5 billion and $42.5 billion to meet state highway and bridge needs over the next five years.
Those totals include highway and bridge maintenance, congestion, highway and major bridge expansion, safety work and interstate modernization.
Local roads are in desperate need as well, totaling an estimated $18 billion over five years.
The transit systems in Chicago need $16.6 billion over ten years, but only have $6 billion in estimated revenue available.
Downstate transit systems and rail throughout the state need a little more than $1 billion.
Total investment needed from Illinois: $63.5 billion to $74.4 billion over five years.
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