IDOT Holds Hearings To Address Deteriorating Infrastructure

Apr 28, 2015

Gov. Bruce Rauner rides a Harley back to the Capitol after a Department of Transportation hearing.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner made an appearance Tuesday at an Illinois Department of Transportation hearing on infrastructure needs.

IDOT is traveling all over the state to build support for a new construction program, and Rauner used his own travel experiences as an example.

As is often good practice when giving a speech, the governor started his remarks with a joke.

"It's great to be back home. I just road the Harley down from back home this morning. It's a lot warmer here than in Joliet, I can tell you that," Rauner said. "And I experienced firsthand where we need some road repavement there, on I-55, up right around Lincoln, it's a little rough."

The quip got laughs, but it's laced with a serious issue. IDOT's chief says without major investments, countless roads and bridges will be inadequate. Of course, upgrading them takes money.

Rauner was non-committal when after his speech, reporters asked where the money will come from.

"It's a little premature to talk about that. We are recommending to the General Assembly that we look at comprehensive tax reform and one of the uses for the tax reform can be infrastructure investment," Rauner said.

Then the governor, who didn't wear a helmet, hopped back on his Harley to ride a few blocks over to the capitol.

Rauner says this summer he's going to host a party at the governor's mansion with motorcycle riders from all over the state.