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Thu March 08, 2018 - Midwest Edition #5
The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors approved eight construction contracts and three professional engineering service contracts totaling $54.3 million at its February meeting. Nearly $174.2 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.
Tollway board approval of the February contracts includes five small business set-aside construction contracts. The Illinois Tollway's Small Business Initiative helps put small businesses in a position to succeed and grow as prime contractors by identifying select small business set-aside construction contracts, generally with values of approximately $1 million, that can be offered specifically to small businesses and also promoting the use of small business goals on a project basis.
Since the start of the Move Illinois Program in 2012, the Tollway has approved 55 small business set-aside contracts to certified small firms, including 26 first-time prime contractors.
To date, more than $5.6 billion has been invested by the Illinois Tollway since the Move Illinois Program began in 2012, with nearly $1.6 billion of that total committed to small, diverse and veteran-owned firms. In addition, the capital program has created or sustained an estimated 57,430 total jobs as of January 2018.
The contracts approved include 19 subconsultants, two prime contractors and 11 subcontractors that are certified as disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms and two subconsultants, two prime contractors as well as one subcontractor that are certified veteran-owned firms. Commitments for D/M/WBE participation range from 14 to 39 percent per contract and commitments for veteran participation range from 2 to 71 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.
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 scores 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 also are 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.
For more information, visit illinoistollway.com.