2023 Transportation – Town of Normal

By: Diane Benjamin

Last night’s meeting will take more than one story!

The Town of Normal GIS system for identifying projects is a useful tool. Try this link: https://tongis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/4f41ead227e440dda1ca5ca85bdbdddb

You need to click Transportation on the left side and then 2023 at the bottom. The first thing to notice is it says 27 projects but only 25 are listed. Below are the 25 projects.

Roadway funds are State Motor Fuel Tax funds, the ones in Green should be local Motor Fuel taxes. Next note how much is being spent on resurfacing: $1,000,249 + $1,672,460 = $2,672,709. That may sound like a lot of money but it doesn’t resurface much. From this 2021 story, Normal spent $1.7 million to resurface 1.7 miles: https://blnnews.com/2021/03/02/normal-budget-priorities/

That means $2,672,709 after inflation will probably resurface around 2 miles of roads. The same story states Normal has 426 lane miles. Your roads are bad because “transportation” spending isn’t on what people use the most: Roads,

Note the bottom of the first column below. The Town spent $170,000 on the intersection by Portillos that Connect Transit buses still can’t navigate.

$1,000,000 of the spending is American Rescue Plan Act Funds. Storm Water Funds are listed 4 times as the source for Bridges. When storm water rates are increased maybe they can explain why the fund was used on bridges.

Just hit Play below to hear what the Underpass is going to cost. See the $3,147,720 listed in 2023. The speaker states the total cost is now $27.1 million NOT including Phase 1 costs. What was spent on Phase 1? https://blnnews.com/2021/06/08/underpass-too-late-to-stop-it/

$1.5 million

That makes the total cost to date $28.6

The underpass vehicles can’t use will easily pass $30 million once construction starts. Keep in mind, it saves 50 feet.

The total underpass cost in June of 2021 was $22.69 million, see story above. This is going to be the Koos-Reece version of Boston’s Big Dig. Imagine if this money had been used to fix the roads. Yes, grants are available for resurfacing. Normal just doesn’t apply for them. Building new is more fun.

One more note: If you click 2024 in the GIS system it shows a lot more money being spent on resurfacing. Bloomington used to play the same game: Spend a lot on streets in an election year. 2024 is actually Fiscal year 2023-2024. The budget will be done before the election so those who want re-elected have something to run on.

One thought on “2023 Transportation – Town of Normal

  1. So for 20 years they short us on road resurfacing so they can spend more on their pet projects, then expect one election year of adequate spending to keep them in office? Sadly that may work.

    Liked by 1 person

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