Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2014

CONTACT:
Guy Tridgell 312.793.4199
Jae Miller (IDOT) 312.814.4693

Strong Showing of Business Interest, Local Support for Illiana Corridor Project

More than 150 Firms Participate in Outreach Event in Tinley Park

TINLEY PARK – Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider today hosted more than 150 firms interested in opportunities to grow their businesses by getting involved with the Illiana Corridor project. The event, held at the Tinley Park Convention Center, was designed by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program to give business owners a forum to meet with the four developer teams vying to build the Illinois portion of the project and to discuss partnership possibilities.

“I am thrilled to see such strong interest from so many people wanting to be a part of the Illiana Corridor,” Secretary Schneider said. “This is just more confirmation that the public is excited about the project and the opportunities it presents for our local businesses to get involved. The Illiana will not only benefit transportation tremendously throughout the region, but it will be a catalyst for expanding the state’s workforce, creating jobs and economic development far into the future.”

Today’s event was the second local outreach event for the Illiana. The forums give female- and minority-owned businesses a one-stop shop to learn more about design and construction opportunities, as well as the process to become eligible to work on state highway projects and obtain state certification.

To enhance DBE participation in the project, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently permitted IDOT to tailor some of its DBE goals for specific components of the Illiana, including engineering, construction and operations. The FHWA decision will allow IDOT to expand the economic impact of the project across a wider spectrum of Illinois companies and the services they offer.

Illinois and Indiana are separately pursuing private-partnerships to design, build and operate their respective sections of the Illiana. Each state is in separate negotiations with four developer teams in the Request for Proposal process, which ultimately will produce a final financing plan this fall.

In addition to the ongoing work to select developer teams, both IDOT and the Indiana Department of Transportation are working to wrap up the final Environmental Impact Statement for a Record of Decision on the project from the U.S. Department of Transportation this spring.

The Illiana Corridor is a proposed 47-mile access-controlled highway that extends from Interstate 55 in Illinois on the west to Interstate 65 in Indiana on the east.

When it opens to traffic in 2018, the Illiana will reduce truck traffic on local roads, improving safety, travel times and access to jobs in both states. Beyond the regional benefits for freight and intermodal connections, the Illiana will provide an opportunity for jobs and economic development. Potential benefits include the creation of more than 13,000 construction jobs and thousands of long-term jobs amounting to over $1 billion in wages over a 35-year period.

For more information on the project, visit www.illianacorridor.org.

 

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