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 The Illinois Transportation Department plans to spend $23 million over the next five years to fund research at the University of Illinois' Center for Transportation.

The center announced Wednesday the deal is an extension of earlier agreements that have seen government money pumped into the university's transportation research since 2005.

Christine Reed is director of the IDOT's Division of Highways. She says the money should yield improvements in the state's highway system and longer-lasting and less expensive roads.

The center said past agreements with IDOT have led to research that created better pavement as well as more efficient construction. Center research has also focused on improving highway work zone safety, better bridge construction and energy efficiency in transportation.

The center conducts research on all three University of Illinois campuses.

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