While there are restraints on much public-sector construction work, the Illinois Tollway is an exception. Fueled by toll revenue, the Tollway reports that it plans to spend upwards of $1.4 billion for construction work in 2016 — and the work should be open to competitive bidding.
The Chicago Tribune reports upcoming projects include:
- $577 million to complete roadway rebuilding and widening the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90);
- $384 million to continue building the new, all-electronic Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project, officially designated as Illinois Route 390;
- $105.3 million to complete resurfacing on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) from U.S. Route 52 to U.S. Route 30;
- $68 million to begin design for reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294);
- $156 million for systemwide roadway, interchange and bridge repairs and other work.
“It’s a classic user-fee situation,” Tollway chairman Bob Schillerstrom told The Tribune. “The people who use the Tollway pay for it 100 percent. No one else pays for it. If you choose not to use the Tollway, you don’t have to pay.”
Similarly, Illinois law requires that Tollway revenue remain within the agency and not be used for other state purposes.