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Our Story

IDOT's roots can be traced back over a century. For as long as there have been cars, highways, and air traffic, there has been an Illinois transportation agency. The rich history of our department spreads across the entire state. From massive bridges spanning the Mississippi or Illinois Rivers to winding roads eloquently carved into limestone bluffs. And, from two-lane roads tracing through rural corn and soybean fields to dirt and grass landing strips to the steel and concrete jungle of O’Hare International Airport, and on every mile of interstate and railroad that made Illinois what it is today, the mark of an Illinois transportation agency can be seen and felt.

Over the past century, Illinois businesses, residents, and visiting travelers have seen the steady development of one of the largest and most effective multi-modal transportation systems in the nation including roadways, passenger and freight railroads, transit and commuter services, bikeways, airports, waterways and canals, port districts, and inter-modal facilities. During just the past 50 years, Illinois’ geographical location near the center of the nation and the diversity of statewide transportation options have made the Illinois multi-modal network a keystone and a vital hub for national and regional travel and freight movement.

Each day, IDOT strives to ensure that destinations are reached in the safest, quickest, easiest, and most comfortable and cost-effective manner. It does not matter which mode or modes are used, as long as your destination is reached successfully. We plan, program, design, implement, construct, maintain, operate, respond, repair, rebuild, and innovate - it is a cycle. None of this is new. Each day moving forward, we will continue to do each of these. And, though IDOT does this very well, we will strive to do it differently - in a way that is even more proactive and intuitive. In a way that brings the Illinois transportation infrastructure into the 22nd Century, before we get there, because the next transportation revolution is due now - in the United States, in Illinois. It is IDOT’s vision to transform transportation for tomorrow.

This multi-modal transportation vision joins together concepts such as interconnectivity, system preservation, innovation, and global competitiveness, allowing them to work together in harmony with each other. It helps connect Illinois’ most rural and remote communities downstate to its urban transportation networks while changing and transforming the quality of life in communities all along the way and creating an inclusive transportation system. With transforming transportation for tomorrow as the foundation of Illinois’ transportation vision, IDOT is confident that it can create a safe and sustainable system by connecting and integrating even the most individualized communities as one. Because at IDOT, we believe that through continuous and proper system preservation, utilizing new and sophisticated communications networks, Illinois can serve as a more effective platform for economic growth and development.

With this concept in mind, IDOT will strive to strengthen, maintain, and expand the Illinois transportation system, all while considering trends in the transportation industry, population, freight demands, mobility needs, safety factors, interconnectivity, corporate needs, and housing development.