Illinois roadway projects move forward despite spending freeze

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Despite its freeze on most new state spending, the Rauner administration has decided to proceed Jan. 30 with an estimated $500 million in roadway maintenance and repair projects across the state, including reconstruction of the interchange between Lake Shore Drive and Interstate 55.

The fate of the bid opening by the Illinois Department of Transportation was still unknown last week when the Rauner administration thawed out spending for the Illinois Tollway’s $1.5 billion construction program this year.

With another large round of IDOT projects coming up in March, contractors fretted that the two sets of bids would be combined.

With just one huge bid letting, firms could have ended up with more work than they could handle if they bid too aggressively or none at all in the upcoming construction season if they bid too high.