By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Historic help for the nation’s aging infrastructure.

Federal dollars will help repair 15,000 bridges, including several in Illinois. The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a program to replace, rebuild and construct new bridges, like one at Rand Road and the Des Plaines River. It’s the single largest dedicated bridge investment in the interstate highway system’s history.

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More than $26 billion dollars will go to states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico over the next five years. Illinois will receive about $1.4 billion of that. U.S. Illinois Congressman Brad Schneider spoke about the need for the upgrades.

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“Illinois has 2,374 bridges in poor condition,” Schneider said. “We rank third for the most structurally deficient bridges, according to the National Bridge Inventory. The state has determined that over half of these bridges need to be completely replaced.”

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The funding is made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law  with the goal of helping bridges stand up to climate change and wear and tear so they’re safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff