Illinois Tollway Presents Balanced Tentative 2019 Budget to Finance, Administration and Operations Committee

Operations cost increases limited and headcount reduced while implementing largest infrastructure improvement program in agency history

Downers Grove, IL, October 18, 2018 — The Illinois Tollway today introduced a balanced Tentative 2019 Budget during its Board of Directors’ Finance, Administration and Operations Committee meeting. The spending plan includes $365 million for annual maintenance and operations on the 294-mile system, and supports $1.4 billion in capital spending, including funding for the eighth year of the agency’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

“The Tollway is introducing a solid spending plan for 2019 that prioritizes safety and service for our 1.6 million daily drivers,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman. “The 2019 Budget also shows that we remain dedicated to strong fiscal management as we implement the largest capital program in our agency’s history.”

Revenues are projected to increase to $1.5 billion in 2019, a $55 million increase over the current 2018 estimate, primarily due to continuing increases in toll transactions coupled with the annual truck toll rate increase previously approved by the Tollway Board in 2008. Of the $1.5 billion in estimated revenues, $1.47 billion is from tolls and evasion recovery, $30 million is from investment income and $10 million is from concessions and miscellaneous revenue.

The Tentative 2019 Budget will allocate revenue to support infrastructure with more than $704 million for capital investments, as well as $441 in debt service on construction bonds issued to support improvements to better serve the Illinois Tollway’s customers.

Operating costs will increase by $13 million, which remain consistent with the Tollway’s long-term financial plan. The increase will support services for electronic tolling and credit card company fees associated with toll revenue growth and costs to support customer support and roadway safety technology.

The Tollway’s proposed spending plan for 2019 includes $94 million to support customer service and tolling technology; $34.8 million to improve roadway safety and law enforcement services; $71 million for roadway maintenance, technology and traffic management; and $20.6 million for Information Technology.

In addition, the Illinois Tollway plans to reduce its current headcount in 2019 while continuing the largest capital program in the agency’s history. The agency’s budgeted headcount will be reduced by 30 to 1,468 employees, reducing agency’s staffing levels to the lowest level in three decades.

The Tollway’s 2019 Capital Program calls for investing $1.4 [billion] in 2019 for the eighth year of the Move Illinois Program with $397.6 million budgeted for systemwide roadway and bridge repairs and technology investments to keep the existing Tollway system in good repair and funding for key projects including:

  • $423.3 million to continue planning and advance construction for the new I-490 Tollway and new
    interchanges connecting to the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), Tri-State Tollway (I-294), the
    Illinois Route 390 Tollway, as well as providing direct access in and out of O’Hare International
    Airport as part of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project
  • $444.7 million to continue design and reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project
  • $28 million to begin design and construction to complete the I-294/I-57 Interchange

In keeping with the Tollway’s commitment to increasing transparency and accountability to the public, the Tentative 2019 Budget presentation to the Finance, Administration and Operations Committee is posted on the Illinois Tollway’s website for public review. A copy of the complete Tentative 2019 Budget and schedule for public participation in the annual budget process will be posted online after the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors reviews the Tentative 2019 Budget on October 25.

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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