Transportation officials: Illinois gas tax increase is needed

With nearly a decade having passed since lawmakers approved Illinois’ last major capital program, billions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance has racked up.

To give an idea, about three-fourths of all bridges in the state are in need of repair.

And according to a panel of transportation experts, the problem will only get worse in the future unless the state begins to better fund investments in its transportation system.

“We’re behind, to be perfectly frank,” said IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, one of the panelists. “We are not funding transportation as well as some of our neighbors and as our competitors. … I spend $250 a month on my phone. I spend $50 a month for water. This is the infrastructure of my life. It’s what I need to make things happen. And we’re spending 50 cents a day on transportation. And, honestly, it’s inadequate.”