With the start of the new fiscal year just over a week away, the Illinois Department of Transportation is preparing to put the brakes on road and transit projects statewide.

The department began notifying contractors this week that they shouldn’t start tearing up any roads or closing bridges lanes unless work can be completed by June 30, the final day of the current fiscal year. No work, including engineering, will be able to continue after that unless the General Assembly gives DOT authority to spend money in the new fiscal year, Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said Wednesday.

Repeating a message he delivered last week at a Statehouse news conference with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, Blankenhorn urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow work to continue.

“The message from last week isn’t different,” he said. “It’s just we’re another week that we’ve gone by without a budget, and this brings this crisis even closer.”

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