Governor Pat Quinn and Indiana Governor Mike Pence were joined by transportation officials today to open a business development forum in Rosemont for the Illiana Expressway. The project to build the Illiana Expressway, which will connect I-55 in Illinois with I-65 in Indiana, is expected to create 9,000 construction jobs. The forum, Partnering for Progress: Financing through Public-Private Partnerships, will introduce area, national and international contractors and investors to this critical capital project and provide information on its economic opportunities.
"The Illiana is a key transportation priority for Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "We will deploy an innovative public-private partnership to put thousands of people to work and drive our regional economy forward. As we move full-speed ahead to build this 21st century highway, it is important for businesses to learn about the significant opportunities that are available."
During the next two days, this industry forum is expected to attract up to 1,000 attendees ranging from local laborers, contractors and minority-owned businesses to international investors and construction management companies. Potential contractors, partners and investors will have a chance to participate in one-on-one meetings and discuss how government entities and private firms can work together to create something for the common good while generating thousands of jobs and tremendous economic opportunity for the two-state area.
"New opportunities in agriculture and manufacturing create additional needs in infrastructure," Governor Pence said. "As global demand increases, so does the need for efficient transportation. Illiana will improve upon Indiana's transportation system and connect Indiana with the global marketplace."
Public-private partnerships have been used for decades internationally, and have become a key development strategy for major public works projects in the United States during the past 15 years. These partnerships are agreements between a public agency and a private entity to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a project. The private investment may consist of a team of engineering firms, construction companies and financiers. Toll collections or other fund sources would be used to reimburse the investor over an agreed upon period of time.
"Illinois and Indiana are among the leaders for this sort of innovative delivery," Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. "The Illiana project is a "win-win' for both Illinois and Indiana and will result in a reduced financial burden while creating much needed infrastructure, saving millions for Indiana and Illinois taxpayers. We are thrilled to be able to showcase this important project to an international audience."
"Indiana is looking to leverage private sector innovation and competition to advance Illiana Corridor construction," Commissioner Mike Cline said. "As Indiana has seen with other public-private partnerships, the private sector delivers a better value for taxpayers."
The Illiana Expressway will be a 47-mile access controlled highway that extends from I-55 in Illinois on the west to I-65 in Indiana on the east. The preferred corridor is located in Will County in Illinois and Lake County in Indiana. When built, the Illiana Corridor Project will reduce the strain of truck traffic on local roads, thereby improving safety, travel times and job accessibility. Potential economic benefits include the creation of more than 9,000 construction jobs and more than 25,000 long-term jobs.