Illinois Dept. of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman told lawmakers during a state senate transportation committee hearing Aug. 28 that the agency may have to put off some projects planned for this year until 2021 due to a funding shortfall related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other projects in IDOT's multi-year program, which encompasses 2021-2026, may be delayed even further.
Gas tax revenues used to fund road projects are much lower this year than the agency projected with less travel during the pandemic, Osman said. According to IDOT, motor fuel tax revenue from March through June were down $82 million from the same period in 2019.
"We continue to stress that we have not suspended or cancelled any projects at this time," says Maria Castaneda, IDOT communications manager. "The department is committed to all projects for this construction season, although there might be the possibility we start shifting projects starting with the 2021 construction season."
She also said the funding situation remains fluid, and it is "a little too soon" to tell what impact the lower revenue will have.