DOWNERS GROVE, IL, April 26, 2018 -– Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman testified Thursday, April 26, before the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee. The following are excerpts from her remarks:
“I am fortunate to have recently joined the Illinois Tollway as Executive Director. Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to listen, learn and lead an agency that is not only increasing the vitality of the region’s transportation network, but also driving economic growth and job creation across the state.
This agency is entirely user-funded with a strong AA- bond rating. No state funds are used to maintain and operate our 294 miles of roadways. I’m pleased to report today that the Tollway’s 2018 Budget is balanced. Under this budget, we will be able to:
- Fully fund maintenance and operations
- Invest more than $1 billion in capital projects
- Issue nearly $300 million dollars in new bonds to provide funding for new and future capital investments, and
- Continue to provide excellent customer service with our current headcount at the lowest level in 30 years.
This year, every project is being reviewed with a goal of moving forward as quickly as possible. We are reprioritizing key projects to take advantage of favorable construction pricing for materials. As a result, we are seeing significant cost savings at contract bid openings compared to our engineers estimates. And we have been able to support creation of an additional 3,000 jobs.
We continue to engage the DBE, veteran and small business community to help deliver our Move Illinois Program.
Last year, the percentage of total payments to DBEs for construction and professional engineering services was the highest it’s been since the start of Move Illinois, totaling nearly 30 percent of our annual spend and nearly 5 percentage points higher than last year.
Veteran-owned firms earned more than $25.6 million in 2017, the highest total since the inception of the Veteran Business Program.”
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 294 miles of roadways 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