The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will shut down transportation project work by June 30 if the state legislature does not pass a budget by the end of the month.
The Illinois Road & Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA) reports IDOT has already issued Stop Work notices to Illinois construction and consulting firms effective June 30, with the work stoppage also including all phases of consultant contracts.
IRTBA says the notices also included information on the proper shutdown procedures contractors and engineers are to take to prepare for the shutdown. These include: safety and traffic control procedures; erosion and sediment controls; environmental stabilization; relocation of idled equipment; and removal of all construction debris.
“The impacts of a shutdown are dire,” says IRTBA President & CEO Mike Sturino. “According to the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, the daily costs of a shutdown exceed $3 million just for direct costs associated with shutting a job down. IRTBA member firms report that layoffs of thousands of Chicago area residents are imminent. Organized labor is reporting approximately 30,000 people will be out of work statewide if this shutdown happens.”
Sturino noted that under similar conditions last year, the legislature came together at “the eleventh hour” on the last day of the fiscal year to pass a budget package. Gov. Bruce Rauner has called for a 10-day special session to begin June 21.
“It is our hope legislators can come together once again and find a solution to keep projects going for the construction and engineering communities, and for the men and women who build and maintain our transportation network,” Sturino says. “Finding a way forward will also have the benefit of avoiding sticking taxpayers with the added, unnecessary costs that would be required to stabilize projects in the event of a shutdown.”