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IL Orders Roadwork Shutdown

Monday, June 19, 2017

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The Illinois Department of Transportation has given contractors notice that all projects will be brought to a halt at the end of this month, assuming the state’s current budget impasse isn’t overcome by that point.

In a letter dated June 14, Pam R. Simon, director of business and workforce diversity with IDOT, told contractors that “at this time appropriate funding is not available after June 30, 2017. Thus, work shall cease effective June 30, 2017.”

Construction barrels
© iStock.com / JasonDoiy

A June 14 letter from the Illinois Department of Transportation told contractors to prepare to halt work June 30, as the state's current stopgap budget resolution will expire.

If a budget is not passed by that point, the only work that may continue will be the maintenance of existing traffic controls and maintenance of erosion and sediment controls so as to keep highways safe. IDOT says in the letter that it hopes to initiate work again immediately after appropriations are made.

Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, Illinois came close to shutting down road work due to budget debates, but an eleventh-hour stopgap resolution prevented a stoppage in work.

Special Session

On Thursday (June 15), Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, announced he’d call a special session of the General Assembly to attempt to get a budget deal done in the last third of this month. But Senate Democrats, the Chicago Tribune reports, say they won’t settle for a stopgap budget this year. The state has been without a full budget for two years now.

In May, the state Senate passed a budget bill that included an increase in taxes, but the bill, which Rauner promised to veto, did not make it through the House.

According to the Tribune, a stoppage would affect about 700 projects worth a total of $2.3 billion.

Projects currently underway in Illinois include the $23.9 million Cumberland Flyover, on I-190 in Chicago, and the $80.6 million replacement of the U.S. 52/Illinois 64 bridge over the Mississippi River near Savanna.

New Jersey’s Stoppage

The state of New Jersey halted nonessential road work for nearly three months from July through October last year when leaders couldn’t agree on a way to replenish that state’s Transportation Trust Fund. Lawmakers eventually raised the state gas tax to infuse cash into the fund.

At the time of the New Jersey shutdown, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association estimated the work stoppage would displace 1,700 construction workers during what would normally be their busiest season, and would cost more than $1 million per day in lost sales, wages and economic activity in the state.

Editor's note: This story was one of our most popular of 2017, and appeared in our Readers' Choice issue on Dec. 28. Road construction projects resumed in mid-July, after legislature passed a tax increase and spending plan.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Contractors; Government; Infrastructure; North America; Program/Project Management; Roads/Highways

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