Illinois Department of Transportation

Co-authored by State Senator Ram Villivalam (Chair, Senate Transportation Committee) and Kevin Artl, President and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies. Also published in Chicago Tribune on March 16, 2021.

Illinois is the crossroads of the nation in the most literal sense. Our 15,969 state highway miles, 9,982 miles of railroad, five international airports and international ports serve as the hub for coast-to-coast logistics and delivery. The nation’s supply chains rely on the capacity of our transportation network so rail operators, cargo shippers and truckers can deliver goods where they are needed most.

Each of these systems rely on the Department of Transportation and its essential role in working in conjunction with industry in planning, designing and construction of Illinois’ surface transportation network.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (Feb. 23, 2021) -- Ill. Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) and Ill. Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) are co-sponsoring a bill to establish more transparent and equitable investment practices for state infrastructure expenditures. Transparency “will help ensure the most beneficial projects are selected every year, and taxpayers can easily understand the reasoning behind them,” according to a new report by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute.

Illinois’ historic capital bill passage in 2019 infused billions into state coffers, but taxpayers don’t currently have visibility into which transportation projects are funded and why. This opaque process erodes trust in government and misses an opportunity to garner the greatest public good from each infrastructure dollar. Meanwhile, our transportation outcomes show troubling trends: an increase in traffic crashes, particularly involving pedestrians, and people struggling to access jobs and services.

There is a better way to achieve greater transportation outcomes and public accountability; it’s performance-based planning, a commitment to using data to compare proposed infrastructure projects. Buckner and Villivalam’s bill would require the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to use performance metrics in evaluating projects.

“Whether we want to improve a highway or update a train station, there are equity- and data-driven methods to guide our decision making,” said Ill. Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to Gov. Pritzker’s State of the State address:

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, my office has helped more than 750 people experiencing unemployment across our district with accessing their benefits. I am hopeful that this proposed additional funding to the Illinois Department of Employment Security works to address the backlog.

“Additionally, the governor pointed out where we can potentially save $932 million by closing corporate tax loopholes. At a time where large corporations are making record profits at the expense of everyone else, we need to close as many corporate loopholes as possible in order to help small businesses and working families.

Category: Press Releases

Illinois State PoliceFunding Will Go Towards Purchase of Software Needed to Investigate Expressway Shootings

Springfield, IL - The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced it will provide $12.5 million to the Illinois State Police (ISP) for the purchase and installation of automated license plate readers (ALPR) and software to aid in the investigation of Cook County expressway shootings. ALPR installations at 47 locations will include specialized cameras to read the license plate numbers of vehicles moving in traffic. The installations will also include a communication system to backhaul the video images to a central location where additional software is used to query and match license plates to existing license plate and vehicle databases. This will help agents investigating expressway shootings.

“No one should feel afraid for their life or safety on Illinois expressways, and I’ve directed my administration to work collaboratively and creatively to ensure we have assets in place to protect the public,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “Tamara Clayton’s tragic death must not be forgotten, and we must do everything we can to prevent more expressway shootings.”

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Category: Press Releases

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