Illinois Tollway awards $82.2 million in November contracts

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The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors approved one construction contract and eight professional engineering services contracts totaling more than $82.2 million at its November meeting, including $61 million for construction management contracts as part of the Illinois Tollway’s $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project.

A detailed planning and refinement process is underway to complete design and construction plans for reconstruction of the I-294 tollway, including rebuilding the Mile Long Bridge and the BNSF Railway Bridge, both scheduled to begin in 2019. 

“As we look forward to the 2019 construction season, we are positioning the Tollway to continue making progress on the Central Tri-State Project – the largest construction project this agency has undertaken yet,” Illinois Tollway executive director Liz Gorman said in a statement. “This 22-mile section carries some of the heaviest volume of passenger and freight traffic on the Tollway system, resulting in twice the amount of congestion delays when compared to the entire Tollway system, so it is critical that we keep these improvements moving forward.” 

More than $558.1 million in construction contracts have been approved by the Tollway board in 2018, as part of the seventh year of the Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. 

To date, nearly $6.2 billion has been invested by the Illinois Tollway since the Move Illinois Program began in 2012, with nearly $1.8 billion of that total committed to small, diverse and veteran-owned firms. In addition, the capital program has created or sustained an estimated 64,910 total jobs as of October 2018, the agency said in a statement.

November construction contracts awarded include: 

  • A $2.9 million contract to Foundation Mechanics, Des Plaines, for ramp reconstruction at the Illinois Route 56 Interchange on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88). 

November professional engineering services contract awards include: 

  • A $48 million contract to Bowman Consulting Group, Chicago, for construction management services for the reconstruction of the Mile Long Bridge as part of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project. 
  • An $8 million contract to TranSystems Corporation/HR Green, Inc., Schaumburg, for construction management services for the reconstruction of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad Bridge as part of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project. 
  • $7 million contract to ESI Consultants, Naperville, for design and construction management upon request services for the new I-490 Tollway. 
  • A $5 million contract to Juneau Associates Inc., Granite City, for construction management upon request services along the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project between 95th Street and Balmoral Avenue. 
  • A $4 million contract to SRF Consulting Group Inc./Singh & Associates Inc., Minneapolis, MN, for systemwide intelligent transportation systems (ITS) services upon request. 
  • A $3 million contract to American Surveying & Engineering, Dixon, IL, for systemwide utility relocation assistance services upon request. 
  • A $2.4 million contract to T.Y. Lin International Great Lakes Inc., Chicago, for design services to complete Phase II of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange. 
  • A $2 million contract to Wang Engineering Inc., Lombard, for systemwide geotechnical services. 

The contracts approved on Nov. 29  include one prime contractor, three prime consultants and 27 subconsultants certified as disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms, as well as one prime consultant and three subconsultants certified veteran-owned firms. Commitments for D/M/WBE participation range from 24 to 91 percent per contract and commitments for veteran participation range from 1 to 64 percent per contract. 

Illinois Tollway professional engineering services contracts are selected in accordance with the qualifications-based selection process (Illinois Public Act 87-673 (30 ILCS 535/1-535/80) Architectural, Engineering and Land Surveying Qualifications-Based Selection Act), which requires state agencies to select professional architects, engineers and surveyors on the basis of demonstrated competence and professional qualifications, rather than low bid, the statement said.

Contract services staff from the Engineering Department checks statements of interest to ensure that specified pre-qualifications and documentation requirements are met. Tollway engineers and managers then review and score statements of interest based on the advertised selection criteria service. Tollway Diversity Department staff also reviews the statements of interest for compliance with advertised diversity criteria. Executives from the Engineering Department then review the scoring, as well as each firm’s capacity, and identify the top recommended firms per project.

To complete the selection, a committee of Tollway professionals and independent engineering officials considers the top recommended firms and finalizes the top three firms in ranked order. The Tollway then seeks to negotiate a final contract price with the top-ranked firm. The award of a professional engineering services contract is dependent on approval by the Tollway Board of Directors. 

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 on the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com. 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 November Engineering Contract Awards  construction bid calendars. These resources can be found in the “Doing Business” section of the Tollway’s website. 

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