BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – August 12, 2022 – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced its endorsement of Illinois Soybean Association’s (ISA) bridge bundling initiative with the release of its Multi-Year Program (MYP).
The program includes a new initiative to bundle the replacement of small, deficient highway bridges and culverts, which will provide Illinois farmers and residents alike with a roadmap to improve Illinois’ neglected bridge and transportation system within a proposed six-year program.
“The ISA is encouraged to hear IDOT is starting to utilize bridge bundling across the state,” said Todd Main, Director of Market Development, ISA. “Making state funds available in addition federal funding as part of the Federal Infrastructure Bill will help rural communities ‘Bundle Up Their Bridges’ and keep Illinois farmers moving as harvest approaches.”
According to IDOT, this initiative is designed to allow IDOT to deliver more bridge projects in less time, save money and leverage increased revenues from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. There are 14 bundles statewide which include nearly 60 structures programmed in the MYP.
“One of the foundations of Illinois farmers’ transportation network is rural bridges which allows farmers access from the field to their destination point for delivery,” Main said. “The bridges of Illinois are showing signs of stress to deferred maintenance and poor condition. The Illinois repair backlog includes 2,273 bridges identified as structurally deficient and an additional 1,191 brides with posted restrictions on size and weight of vehicles that can use them. The estimated cost to repair these bridges is $4.8 billion, a number that is climbing by the day.”
ISA has been engaged in public outreach and educational for county road commissioners, engineers and local decision makers on the merits of bridge bundling by using success stories from Illinois counties and neighboring states, issuing a single contract for the replacement, rehabilitation, or repair of multiple bridges to reduce costs and speaking with elected officials about how a successful bridge bundling program can be implemented at the county and township level.
To learn more, https://www.ilsoy.org/bridge-bundling.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org and www.ilsoygrowers.com.