Governor to Stretch Road Program to Seven Years

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Illinois' transportation secretary said today the state's road-building program will be stretched over seven years instead of five because of uncertain federal money.

Timothy Martin told The Associated Press that Illinois is still waiting to hear how much transportation money it will get from Washington for the next six years. So he is designing a program that spreads projects out over a longer time period until he knows how much is available.

Governor Rod Blagojevich plans to announce his capital program, including road and bridge projects, on March 23.

A state gasoline tax and vehicle registrations also pay for the road fund besides federal money.

Critics say Blagojevich is stretching the program because he took more than 700 million dollars from the $2.7 billion road fund for general expenses last year, and money is running short.