Agriculture

Illinois Moving Forward with Illiana Project–This Month

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November 1, 2013 — Illinois’ Department of Transportation (IDOT) says it will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) next Friday related to an interstate highway project with Indiana.

It says the November 8 RFQ will seek, “submission of qualifications by private industry partners to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the Illinois portion of the Illiana Corridor utilizing an Availability Payment structure.”

The Illiana Corridor project includes a 47-mile highway connecting I-65 near Lowell, Indiana to I-55 near Wilmington, Illinois at a projected cost of $1.3-billion.

IDOT says firms or project teams interested in its RFQ will be asked for a Statement of Qualifications to determine their eligibility in a Public Private Partnership (P3) process.

The Indiana portion of the project will be developed later under a separate P3 project with procurement by the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says, “We’re eager to begin the procurement process on the Illiana, which will bring jobs, promote business growth and boost the economy in Illinois.”

IDOT says private sector participation is being sought to spur innovation that will lead to delivery of the Illiana Corridor more quickly and efficiently, and at less cost.

Last month the Chicago-area Metropolitan Planning Organization voted to put the Illiana Corridor project on its priority list.  The MPO coordinates Chicago road projects for Illinois.  Its vote went against a recommendation by Chicago’s Metropolitan Agency for Planning which said the plan’s long-term economic benefits are unsubstantiated.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Board Chairman Gerald Bennett said the vote’s “political tension” needed to be set aside for consensus building toward progress.

IDOT says that to ensure coordination of the multi-state Illiana Corridor Project, IDOT and INDOT are working together to coordinate technical requirements, tolling policy, the federal environmental approval process, and construction schedules.

IDOT says that after release of the RFQ, IDOT will host an Outreach Event for Illinois Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and other industry firms interested in bidding on work for the project. The event will be held December 4, 2013 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Joliet.

The federally mandated DBE Program provides contracting opportunities to small businesses owned and managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

For more information about the project and Outreach Event and how to register, visit www.IllianaCorridor.org/P3.

The RFQ and submission requirements will be posted to the official procurement site at www.dot.il.gov/desenv/transprocbulletin.html.

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