The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

September 9, 2013

Illinois must address state infrastructure

As you return to work today, try to open your weekend-weary eyes a little wider and pay attention to the road.

How is it?

Chances are, the answer is bumpy, lumpy and crumbly. Despite the sometimes best efforts of villages and cities, road repairs don’t come cheap and many other things take priority.

It just becomes a part of the driver psyche, though, and it’s hardly even noticed after a while that things are shaking and quaking all the way from Point A to Point B.

It’s becoming more and more apparent on state-maintained roads. Years of shifting funds and the hustle and bustle of inactivity over pension reform have pushed road and bridge repairs to the sideline.

The state does spend money on roads — $1.3 billion a year on average. But rising costs of materials and labor means that money doesn’t go as far as it once did. It’s certainly not enough to do what should be done.

The group Transportation for Illinois Coalition cautions that without more of an investment, one out of every 10 bridges and one in every three miles of roads will be unacceptable for use within five years.

It’s about time someone stirred the pot and brought this issue to the front of the discussion line, although we have to part company with the coalition when it calls for replacing the existing motor fuel tax — the source of money for much of the road work done — with a 9.5 percent tax on fuel.

Motorists are already beaten down with the roller-coaster ride of rising and falling gasoline prices without any real explanation.

At the same time, the motor vehicle fuel tax is no longer as viable a resource as it was when put into place decades ago. Fuel-efficient cars and shorter trips have meant the 19 cents a gallon charge doesn’t go as far.

Something has to be done, though, to strike a balance between keeping the roads and bridges safe for travel and leaving motorists with enough money to use them.

The (Alton) Telegraph

Sept. 3

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

  • Wild Rose avoids another distraction Several casino operators in the state of Iowa breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 to reject a casino in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is close enough to have a possible effect on Wild Rose Casino and R

    April 18, 2014

  • Youngquist photo World Book Night celebrated April 23 The Clinton Public Library children's department plans to start a Legos club this June. We would appreciate donations of new or used Legos bricks. Please, no Duplo bricks. Drop donations at the children's desk on the second floor of the library. Root

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walter Williams mug Equality in discipline George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook