Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a construction program aimed at putting people back to work while lawmakers hash out a much larger public works program.
Officials expect the $3 billion program will create 80,000 jobs filling pot holes and fixing mass transit.
Quinn also approved spending $6.7 billion in federal stimulus money on other needs like high-speed rail or paying overdue Medicaid bills.
Officials say the work will begin in time to take advantage of the spring construction season while lawmakers iron out details of a larger $25 billion program.
Quinn also agreed to spend $1.6 million to reopen 11 shuttered historical sites -- like Lincoln's Log Cabin -- but officials say not all will reopen this season.