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End of Route 71 Project Facing Delay

Jun 25, 2016 03:34PM ● Published by Steven Jack

The state of Illinois budget stalemate is likely to cause a delay in the completion of the Route 71 widening project in Oswego. 

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced last week that it will halt all state funded road construction projects on June 30 if a budget compromise is not reached. Without a budget, IDOT is no longer able to pay contractors completing work throughout the state. 

Jennifer Hughes, Oswego's Public Works director, said she has yet to hear directly from the state regarding the Route 71 project, but she expects workers from D Construction to walk off the job late this week. 

"Luckily for us this project is near completion and a lot of progress has been made, but I think I our main concern is safety in the work zone," she said. 

Hughes said without workers present, there will be no one to take care of miscellaneous issues that may pop up, including obstructions that may fall into the roadway.

 "Residents are likely to start calling the village, but this is not our project," she said. 

In addition to delaying the final phase of the Route 71 project, Hughes said she's also concerned about what impact the budget stalemate may have on the state's disbursement of Motor Fuel Tax owed to the village. The village uses those funds to complete local road projects. 

"We have the funds to complete this year's repaving projects, but we really have no idea what will happen in the future," she said. 

The state has been without a budget for nearly one year with no end in site for compromise. Lawmakers will return to Springfield on Wednesday in an effort to perhaps pass a temporary budget that would allow schools to open on time later this summer. 



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