Illinois road construction projects face halt under budget impasse – Government News

on Jun16

15 June 2017 | 6:00 pm

Lawmakers’ inability to decide on the state’s fiscal direction will soon leave Illinois drivers sitting bumper to bumper.

Department of Transportation officials announced today that roadwork across the state will be put on hold if legislators can’t pass a budget by June 30. That will call a halt to work on more than 700 projects statewide worth a total of $2.3 billion. An estimated 20,000 workers will be affected.

“Due to the General Assembly’s refusal to pass a balanced budget, the Illinois Department of Transportation loses its ability to pay contractors starting July 1,” IDOT spokeswoman Gianna Urgo said in an email to Crain’s. “Contractors will be advised to secure work zones to ensure their safety during any potential shutdown.”

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New retaining walls, lighting and other reconstructive work on Interstate 55 at South Lake Shore Drive will be just one project affected. It was due to be completed this fall. Rich Rivera, president of R & G Engineering, now says he has no idea of what the timeline looks like for that project. His firm’s engineering contractors are part of a team currently overseeing quality control of the site.

“It’s Gov. (Bruce) Rauner, (House Speaker Michael) Madigan, the leadership in Springfield, our elected officials, they need to come to the table and make an agreement.”

Lawmakers left Springfield June 1 without passing a budget, but Illinois House and Senate Republicans reported yesterday that they’re filing a compromise budget that would have the support of Gov. Rauner. Democratic leaders said they would look over the bill when it’s filed.

Marty Ozinga, president of cement maker Ozinga Bros., says he feels confident lawmakers will come to a solution.

“I don’t think anyone likes sitting in traffic in construction season,” Ozinga says. “When you have jobs half-finished, and bumper to bumper traffic that’s delayed, that’s a cost to everyone’s quality of life.”

Here are some of the state projects that could be suspended, according to IDOT, with the total cost and amount spent so far:

• Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction ($76.6 million total; $31.8 million spent)

• Interstate 55 at Lake Shore Drive ($135.7 million; $112.5 million)

• 159th Street from I-355 to U.S. 45 in Will County ($105 million; $28.3 million)

• Kennedy Expressway auxiliary lanes, from eastbound Cumberland Avenue to Harlem Avenue ($23 million; $3.9 million)

• Cumberland Flyover ($24 million; $5.1 million)

• Illinois 132 at U.S. 41 in Lake County ($20 million; $825,000)

And here are some of the local projects that could be curbed:

• Deerfield Road west of Illinois 43 to U.S. 41 in Deerfield/Highland Park ($18 million; $15.3 million)

• Longmeadow Parkway in Kane County ($13.3 million; $818,000)

• Chicago Avenue/Sheridan Road, between Grove Street and Ridge Avenue in Evanston ($10.7 million; $928,000)

• Eola Road from 83rd Street (Montgomery Road) to 87th Street (Keating Road) in Aurora ($10.3 million; $6.7 million)

• 95th Street and Plainfield-Naperville Road intersection in Plainfield ($6.3 million; $395,000)

• University Parkway, east of the Metra Electric Line in University Park ($4.8 million; $4 million)

• Church Road, from Grove Avenue to Jefferson Street in Bensenville ($3.9 million; $129,000)



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