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Department of Transportation - RG 242 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Department of Transportation - RG 242
Variant Name: Department of Public Works and Buildings


Historical Note:

The Department of Public Works and Buildings was created by the Civil Administrative Code of 1917. It assumed varied responsibilities including supervision of state highways, waterways and water resources, parks, printing, supply and equipment purchases, and construction of state facilities (L. 1917, p. 24). This department was the successor to agencies which had overseen the state's highways and waterways systems. The State Highway Department, created in 1913 to supervise highways and bridges constructed or maintained in whole or in part with the aid of state monies, was absorbed by the new department (L. 1913, p. 521). The Illinois and Michigan Canal Commissioners, the Rivers and Lakes Commission, and the Illinois Waterway Commission, all were absorbed by the Department of Public Works and Buildings and became the Waterways Division with responsibility for managing, constructing, maintaining, and planning state public waterways and water resources (L. 1917, p. 24). In 1925 the Waterways Division was relocated in the Department of Purchases and Construction but was returned to the Department of Public Works and Buildings in 1933 (L. 1925, p. 598 and L. 1933, p. 1073).

The Department of Transportation was created in 1972. The Highway and Waterways Divisions of the defunct Department of Public Works and Buildings were transferred to it (with the latter renamed the Division of Water Resources). The new Department of Transportation also was charged with developing mass transportation planning and policy (P.A. 77-153, pp. 284-294). In 1973 the Department of Aeronautics was abolished and its responsibilities were transferred to a newly created division in the Department of Transportation (P.A. 78-479, pp. 1384-1387). Traffic Safety became a division in the Department of Transportation in 1977 (P.A. 80-1016, p. 2937). In 1995, the powers of the Division of Water Resources in the Department of Transportation were transferred to the newly created Department of Natural Resources (P. A. 89-50, pp. 1388-1392).



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