The Illinois Tollway board of directors has approved its 2017 budget, allocating $961.3 million for capital programs, with the majority set aside for Move Illinois projects.
This includes $374.5 million for construction on the new Illinois Route 390 Tollway and planning for the new Interstate 490 Tollway for the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project. Another $165.3 million is for the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway for implementing new SmartRoad technology and to complete interchange and local road improvements. The planning and design for reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) will receive $56.5 million.
The budget also includes $295 million for “systemwide roadway, interchange and bridge repairs and other work to keep the existing Tollway system in good repair.” Another $405 million is set aside for debt service, which sets up a balanced budget of $1.38 billion with anticipated matching revenue.
That matching revenue will be made up of $1.37 billion from tolls and evasion recovery, $6 million from investment income and $8 million from concessions and miscellaneous revenue.
“This budget represents our best efforts to deliver strategic investments in infrastructure improvements, state-of-the art technology and the diverse communities we serve,” says Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “The board’s action reinforces our commitment to working within a balanced budget, providing strong fiscal management as we support a larger system with the addition of the new Illinois Route 390 Tollway and completion of the widening of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).”
The operating costs in this budget increased by 4.4 percent primarily to health care and retirement costs and equipment and fees related to revenue collection, the Tollway reports. It does, however, plan to reduce staff to 1,553 employees.
The budget includes $65.3 million for technology, implementation and maintenance supporting I-PASS account management to help “ensure accuracy” of toll violations. Another $14.7 million is included to support an enterprise resource planning system.
“This budget sets our spending at a responsible level that will keep our system operating smoothly and enable us to invest in programs and services to create jobs and support diversity,” says Tollway Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom. “We are committed to delivering first-class service and roadways to our customers by making the best use of the revenues we collect.”