Springfield, IL–(ENEWSPF)–May 10, 2010. On Thursday, State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) voted to pass legislation out of the Illinois House that allows the state’s Department of Transportation (IDOT) to enter into agreements with private contractors to facilitate the construction and management of the proposed Illiana Expressway – a project that would create thousands of jobs and easier travel in the Southland. The Illiana Expressway is a proposed road project that would connect I-55 to I-65 in northwestern Indiana.
“This legislation sets up an innovative partnership to make this long-awaited project happen, and at a time when we are in desperate need of jobs, this is a big step forward for our region,” DeLuca said.
“Plans to proceed with the Illiana Project had been stalled for some time. I worked hard to bring Governor Quinn, local mayors and numerous other parties to the negotiating table. I am pleased to report that progress has finally been made to get this project moving forward.”
Senate Bill 3659 creates the Public Private Agreements for the Illiana Expressway Act, which gives IDOT the authority to enter into one or more public-private agreements to finance, construct, and operate the expressway.
Under the plan, private contractors would be able to establish a toll as a way to recover their investment in the expressway’s construction. IDOT would select a contractor for the public-private agreement through a competitive process and would also have the discretion to create a prequalification process under which potential offerors must meet. IDOT will pick at least two finalists for the project and the Procurement Policy Board and the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will review the proposals. The Governor reserves the right of final approval.
In January, DeLuca coordinated a visit by Governor Quinn to meet with local mayors, local elected officials and other interested parties regarding plans to complete the Illiana Expressway Project.
“The Illiana Expressway project will help stimulate job growth and create an important interstate connection that will be an important source of commerce and economic development for decades to come,” DeLuca added. “I am hopeful this legislation will gain final approval from the Senate and Governor, and put our communities in a better position to finally establish this long-awaited job-creating project.”
Senate Bill 3659 passed out of the House by a vote of 116 – 1 and now awaits a vote of concurrence in the Senate.
Source: Representative DeLuca