At its April board meeting, the Illinois Tollway board of directors approved nine construction contracts totaling nearly $64.5 million, including contracts that will deliver the Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange Project and complete the Tollway's goal to plant 58,000 trees as part of the Move Illinois Program.
"The Illinois Tollway is working tirelessly to ensure the investments we are making into our regional infrastructure are meaningful and are in the best interests of our customers and the communities we serve," said José Alvarez, Illinois Tollway executive director. "We invest in the environment, because it's the right thing to do. And, accelerating our investments in Chicago's Southland also is the right thing to do as we complete the long-sought interchange between I-294 and I-57 to save drivers precious time and resources and open much needed opportunities for the surrounding communities."
Initially, Phase Two completing the I-294/I-57 Interchange project was scheduled for 2024 to 2026. Under the accelerated schedule to complete the I-294/I-57 Interchange by the end for 2022, four new ramps will be built connecting southbound I-57 to I-294 and I-294 to northbound I-57. As part of this work, I-57 will be widened between I-294 and the CSX Railroad to accommodate added traffic entering and exiting the Tollway under the final construction contract approved by the Tollway at the April board meeting.
In 2014, the Tollway completed Phase One of the project and opened the highly anticipated I-294/I-57 Interchange — creating a vital connection between two major interstates in the Chicago Southland. For the first time, the new I-294/I-57 Interchange provided motorists with access between I-294 and I-57 and at 147th Street. It created access from northbound I-57 to northbound I-294 and southbound I-294 to southbound I-57, including a new interchange at 147th Street.
The Move Illinois Program also includes a landscape master plan with a goal to plant 58,000 trees and shrubs on Tollway property. The Tollway is committed to balancing the environmental impacts of its roadway projects through its implementation of wetland mitigation landscape projects that have local and regional benefits and the landscaping contracts approved in April will provide for tree and shrub plantings through 2022 to exceed the agency goal.
April construction contracts awarded include:
- A $21.3 million contract to Lorig Construction Company, Des Plaines, Ill., for replacement of the Plainfield Road Bridge over the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and Flagg Creek.
- A $20.8 million contract to Dunnet Bay Construction Co., Glen Dale Heights, Ill., for widening I-57 over the CSX and Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroads for the Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange Project.
- A $15.9 million contract to Martam Construction Inc., Elgin, Ill., for box culvert construction on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) between Ogden Avenue and Cermak Road.
- A $2 million contract to Robe Inc., Chicago, Ill., for plaza improvements at ramp and mainline toll plazas on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).
- A $1.8 million contract to Robe Inc., Chicago, Ill., for plaza improvements at the Aurora and Dixon Toll Plazas on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88).
- A $1.1 million contract to Western Remac Inc., Woodridge, Ill., for plaza improvements at the Touhy and Irving Park Toll Plazas on Tri-State Tollway (I-294).
- A $792,134 contract to Cardinal State, Lake in the Hills, Ill., for landscape planting improvements along the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) between Fox River and I-294.
- A $568,483 contract to Robe Inc., Chicago, Ill., for plaza improvements at the Spring Creek Toll Plaza on the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355).
- A $233,275 contract to City Escape Garden & Design, Chicago, Ill., for landscape planting improvements along the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) between the O'Hare Oasis and the Union Pacific Railroad.
The contracts approved include two prime contractor and 24 subcontractors that are certified as disadvantaged, minority-and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms and seven subcontractors that are certified veteran-owned firms. Commitments for D/M/WBE participation range from 19.77 to 30.33 percent per contract and commitments for veteran participation range from 2.06 to 3.79 percent per contract.
More than $96.8 million in contracts has been approved by the Tollway Board in 2021, as part of the tenth year of the Tollway's 15-year, $14 billion Move Illinois capital program. To date, nearly $8.8 billion has been invested by the Illinois Tollway since the Move Illinois Program began in 2012, with more than $2 billion of that total committed to small, diverse and veteran-owned firms. In addition, the capital program has created or sustained an estimated 93,870 total jobs as of March 2021.
Construction contracts for Illinois Tollway projects are competitively bid under the rules of the Illinois Procurement Code. All contracts are presented to the Illinois Tollway board of directors for review and approval.
For more information, visit illinoistollway.com.
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