(The Center Square) – A new measure aims to streamline Illinois Department of Transportation projects.
The Illinois House has approved the Innovations for Transportation Infrastructure Act, which authorizes IDOT to use the design-build method to allow for a single entity to both design and start construction on a project.
Currently, IDOT uses the design-bid-build project delivery method where the department designs a plan in-house, then reviews bids from contractors. Sponsors said design-build would expedite the process by allowing a single entity to both design and start construction on the project.
“Streamlining the implementation of infrastructure improvements will save taxpayer dollars and rebuild our roads, bridges and mass transit systems in a transparent and equitable manner,” bill sponsor state Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, said.
Projects that use the design-build method would be capped at a combined total of $400 million.
State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, said the method was used for the construction of a bridge from Pike County, Illinois, to Missouri.
“Missouri was in charge of it and they used design-build,” Davidsmeyer said. “They came in under budget and got it done in less time.”
The Innovations for Transportation Infrastructure Act also authorizes IDOT and the Illinois Tollway Authority to use the construction manager-general contractor delivery method on up to two projects per year. Using the method, the department would contract with a single entity to serve as the construction manager for the design phase, then agree on a price to serve as general contractor for construction.
“We applaud the Senate’s actions on this legislation as it will provide flexibility needed by our state’s transportation agencies to complete certain projects that can best be performed on a design-build basis,” said Larry Bullock, president and CEO of the U.S. Minority Contractors Association.
The bill passed the House on a unanimous vote and is now headed to the governor.