Peoria Journal Register

February 5, 2002

Illinois stands to lose $250 million in highway funds 


WASHINGTON - Illinois could lose as much as $250 million in federal highway money if President Bush's proposed budget is
adopted by Congress.

"Obviously, we're very concerned about it," Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Richard Adorjan said Monday.

The loss would amount to more than 10 percent of the department's annual budget.

It's part of a $9 billion cut in highway funding nationwide that's being proposed by the Bush White House in a $2.13 trillion
budget that places priority on anti-terrorism efforts and homeland security.

State transportation officials are analyzing the impact of the White House proposal on specific state projects. 

They said they haven't seen details on how the cuts will be implemented.

"There's no question there's always more highway needs than revenues available," Adorjan said.

Although the overall U.S. Corps of Engineers' budget also would be cut under Bush's proposal, several ongoing Illinois water
projects appear to have survived the budget ax. They include $1.5 million for the Illinois River Basin and ecosystem-restoration

The corps' proposed budget also gives priority to flood-damage-reduction projects on the main stem of the Mississippi River.

In addition, central and southern Illinois is expected to benefit from $325 million proposed for research into pollution-reducing
technologies for coal-fired power plants.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, called the amount "significant given the tight fiscal constraints that will be necessary to keep
the deficits as small as possible."