IL Tollway Presents 2018 Tentative Budget to Finance, Administration and Operations Committee

Reduces headcount and limits maintenance and operations cost increases to less than 5 percent while implementing largest infrastructure improvement program in agency history

DOWNERS GROVE, IL, October 18, 2017 – The Illinois Tollway today introduced a balanced 2018 Tentative Budget during its Board of Directors’ Finance, Administration and Operations Committee meeting. The spending plan includes $353 million in annual maintenance and operations on the 294-mile system, as well as $1.18 billion in capital spending, including funding for the seventh year of the agency’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

“Our 2018 Tentative Budget stays true to the Tollway’s commitment to reinvest the tolls our customers pay into strategic investments in infrastructure, state-of-the-art technology and access for commuters and communities,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “Our goal, as always, is to maximize efficiencies and manage cost increases to best provide safe and convenient travel for our 1.6 million daily drivers.”

The proposed 2018 Tentative Budget provides $1.18 billion in funding for Move Illinois projects, including $375.9 million to continue planning and advance work for the new I-490 Tollway and the new I-490 Tollway Interchange as part of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project, $213.1 million to continue design for reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294), as well as $175 million for roadway improvements on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88). Also in 2018, $325.5 million has been budgeted for systemwide roadway and bridge repairs and technology investments to keep the existing Tollway system in good repair.

Overall, the 2018 Tentative Budget includes $353 million for maintenance and operations activities and services that focus on the Illinois Tollway’s customers. This includes $87 million to support customer service and tolling technology, $34 million to improve roadway safety and law enforcement services, $71 million for roadway maintenance, technology and traffic management and $20 million for information technology enhancements.

Revenues are projected to increase to $1.45 billion in 2018, an $60 million increase over the current 2017 estimate, primarily due to continuing increases in toll transactions and the addition of the new Illinois Route 390 Tollway coupled with a truck toll rate increase previously approved by the Tollway Board in 2008. Of the $1.45 billion in estimated revenues, $1.43 billion is from tolls and evasion recovery, $12 million is from investment income and $8 million is from concessions and miscellaneous revenue.

The 2018 Tentative Budget allocates more than 75 percent of revenue to support infrastructure with more than $1 million for capital investments, as well as $353 million for maintenance and operations – an increase of just $16.5 million over the 2017 operating costs. Operating costs will increase less than 5 percent, mainly due to increases for health care and retirement costs and services to support revenue collection, however, these costs remain consistent with the long-term financial plan outlined for the Move Illinois Program.

In 2018, the Illinois Tollway plans to reduce its current headcount while operating a new roadway on the Illinois Tollway system and continuing the largest capital program in the agency’s history. The agency’s headcount will be reduced by 55 to 1,498 employees, reducing agency’s staffing levels to the lowest level in three decades.

The 2018 operating budget increases include rising personnel costs for health care and retirement contributions, cost of services for electronic tolling and credit card company fees associated with toll revenue growth and costs to support technology to support customer service and roadway safety.

“The Board welcomes the opportunity to review this 2018 Tentative Budget that holds the line on spending and reduces employee headcount while maximizing the Tollway’s resources,” said Tollway Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom. “Tollway staff has introduced is a solid spending plan for 2018 to provide safe, efficient travel for our customers, continue to support the communities we serve and provide opportunities to promote business growth and jobs throughout the region.”

In keeping with the Tollway’s commitment to increasing transparency and accountability to the public, the 2018 Tentative Budget presentation to the Finance, Administration and Operations Committee is posted on the Illinois Tollway’s website for public review. [Link inserted.] A copy of the complete 2018 Tentative Budget and schedule for public participation in the annual budget process will be posted online after the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors reviews the 2018 Tentative Budget on October 26.

About Move Illinois

The Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, will improve mobility, relieve congestion, reduce pollution, create as many as 120,000 jobs and link economies across the Midwest region. Move Illinois will address the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system; rebuild and widen the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor; construct a new interchange to connect the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57; build a new, all-electronic Elgin O’Hare Western Access and fund planning studies for other emerging projects.

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.

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CONTACT: Dan Rozek