IL Tollway’s January Contract Awards Reflect Earned Credit Program Growth

[Editor: This is the text of a January 26, 2017, news release from the Illinois Tollway.]


More than $4.5 billion invested since start of Move Illinois Program

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors today approved three new construction contracts for 2017 totaling $22.2 million at its January meeting, including a contract award determined by the use of Earned Credit Program (ECP) credits.

Approval of the January contracts marks the start of the sixth year of the Move Illinois Program. To date, more than $4.5 billion has been invested by the Illinois Tollway since the 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, began in 2012, with nearly $1.1 billion of that total committed to small, diverse and veteran-owned firms. In addition, the capital program has created or sustained an estimated 49,260 total jobs as of December 2016.

“With nearly $1 billion committed for capital spending in 2017, the Illinois Tollway continues to fuel Illinois’ economic engine with opportunities for heavy highway construction firms throughout the region,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “This month’s contract awards show that there is strong competition for Tollway work and that participation in the Earned Credit Program can provide contractors with a competitive edge.”

As part of this month’s contract awards, Plote Construction’s use of ECP bid credits gave the firm an advantage over 10 other contractors and resulted in the lowest bid for work as part of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project.

The use of ECP credits to bid on Tollway projects has grown dramatically since the program began, with 10 bids, or 7 percent, of bids submitted with ECP credits during the first year of the program in 2007, compared to 26 bids or nearly 80 percent of bids submitted in 2016. Overall, the use of ECP credits has influenced the award of 25 contracts with a cumulative value exceeding $222 million and the use of more than $1.3 million in credits.

The Illinois Tollway’s ECP offers contractors and subcontractors a chance to earn bid credits toward future Tollway construction bids when they hire workers from a pool of qualified, pre-screened candidates that includes minorities, women, eligible offenders and exonerated individuals, veterans and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) eligible individuals. Once an eligible employee is hired and retained, a contractor can continue to accumulate bid credits for up to five years.

ECP bid credits afford contractors and subcontractors a bidding advantage in a highly competitive industry. A contractor can lower bids and increase the chances of winning contracts by applying ECP to construction bids. Subcontractor-earned credits can also be added to a prime contractor’s use of earned credits in order to lower bids. Currently, 26 construction contractors and subcontractors hold active Illinois Tollway ECP certificates.

January construction contracts awarded include:

  • An $11.8 million contract to Judlau Contracting Inc., College Point, NY, for pavement and bridge repair work between 147th Street and Bishop Ford Freeway on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294/I-80).
  • A $5.8 million contract to Industrial Fence Inc., Chicago, IL, for fence replacement and bridge signage installation between Mill Road and Randall Road on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).
  • A $4.6 million contract to Plote Construction Inc., Hoffman Estates, IL, for the widening of Illinois Route 19 (Irving Park Road) between York Road and Taft Avenue to accommodate the new I-490 Tollway.

The contracts approved today include one prime contractor and one subcontractor that are certified as minority and veteran-owned businesses, 12 subcontractors that are certified as disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms and one subcontractor that is a certified veteran-owned firm. Of the $22.2 million awarded for this month, nearly $10.4 million, or 47 percent, is committed to veteran-owned or disadvantaged firms.

Construction contracts for Illinois Tollway projects are competitively bid under the rules of the Illinois Procurement Code. As part of the process, contractors’ bid submissions for construction work advertised by the Tollway are opened and read aloud during public bid opening meetings, which are also broadcast live on the Tollway’s website. Following an agency review process, the lowest, responsible and responsive bid is presented to the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors for review and approval.

The Illinois Tollway provides detailed information about current Tollway construction contracts through the Construction Contract Tracker [link added] on the Tollway’s website at Contractors and consultants can also access resources online to help them learn about how to do business with the Tollway, including construction bid-letting schedules, professional service bulletins, manuals and construction bid calendars. These resources can be found in the “Doing Business” section [link added] of the Tollway’s website.

About Move Illinois

The Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, is improving mobility, relieving congestion, reducing pollution, creating as many as 120,000 jobs and linking economies throughout the region. The first five years of Move Illinois is on schedule and within budget, delivering the rebuilt and widened Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor and opening a new interchange connecting the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57. Progress continues on projects addressing the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system, delivering the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project and planning for emerging projects, including reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).

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 292 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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Dan Rozek
630-241-6800 x.2392