Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The Illinois Department of Transportation on Monday released details for how it plans to spend billions of dollars on road construction in the coming years.


Madelyn Beck

Brian Otten likens his process for dealing with road problems to a triage system.

As the highway engineer in Perry County in southern Illinois, Otten says he gets calls about potholes or cracked drainage pipes. 

“And we’ll go out there and take a look and say, this pipe is about fall in and somebody could have an accident here and really get hurt. That takes precedence over the inconvenience of a pothole,” he said.

Problems on interstate highways and bridges get a lot of attention. But you may be seeing more potholes and cracks on the roads you take to work or even live on, particularly in rural areas.

Flickr: Gabriel Garcia Marengo / 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Drone enthusiasts, be aware – the rules for the small, unmanned aircrafts could be changing in Illinois.

A new law bars cities from regulating the use of drones.

The law excludes the city of Chicago, but a spokesman with the Illinois Department of Transportation says it will create consistent rules around the rest of the state.

Jackie Reiser is a co-owner of Measure Illinois – a Springfield-based company that provides drones to oversee power lines and construction sites. She says more unified regulation is a good thing.

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was sued Friday by a group of former state employees who want their jobs back.

Construction sign at Broadway and Adams in Springfield
Sam Dunklau

Experts say billions in a multi-year plan won't go far enough to address infrastructure repairs and upkeep.