The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors recently approved six new construction contracts totaling $26 million for work on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project and five new design contracts totaling $14.1 million for work to maintain the existing Tollway system. More than $1 billion in construction and engineering contracts have been approved by the Tollway Board so far in 2013.
“The Illinois Tollway knows how to keep drivers moving and businesses thriving,” said Gov. Pat Quinn. “These projects are part of nearly a billion dollars’ worth of contracts for the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway that are supporting tens of thousands of construction jobs throughout the region.”
“Construction on our $2.2 billion I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project will be in full swing during the 2014 construction season, providing good-paying jobs for men and women in the construction industry,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “We are working with hundreds of firms, large and small, from across the region to ensure we deliver these critical infrastructure improvements on schedule.”
To date, nearly $945 million in contracts have been approved for work on I-90 including more than 315 unique businesses — with nearly 25 of those businesses working with the Tollway for the first time. Work to rebuild and widen I-90 from Rockford to Chicago began this year and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.
The 11 new contracts approved today include 29 subcontractors/subconsultants that are certified as disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprises (D/M/WBE). Commitments for D/M/WBE participation range from 6 to 43 percent per contract. Of the $40.1 million in awarded contracts, more than $9.7 million or more than 24 percent is committed to these firms.
As of November, more than $1.6 billion in construction and engineering contracts has been awarded since the Move Illinois Program began in 2012. The Tollway estimates that nearly 475 construction and engineering firms are currently working on the Move Illinois Program, and the capital program has created or sustained as many as 8,910 jobs as of October 2013.
Construction and utility 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 also are broadcast live on the Tollway’s Web site. Following an agency review process, the lowest, responsible 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 Web site at www.illinoistollway.com. Contractors and consultants also can 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 construction bid calendars. These resources can be found in the “Doing Business” section of the Tollway’s Web site.
Illinois Tollway engineering services contracts are awarded through 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.
Staff from the department of engineering checks statements of interest to ensure that specified pre-qualifications and documentation are met and then reviews and scores statements of interest based on the selection criteria outlined for each project.
Executives from the department of engineering then review the scoring, as well as each firm’s capacity, and identify the top recommended firms per project. To complete the review, 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.