Inside the Tollway
Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez provided an update on agency initiatives to an online gathering of nearly 120 engineers at the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois monthly luncheon.
The February 9 event featured Alvarez highlighting Tollway accomplishments in 2020 and providing a look-ahead to major work taking place in 2021. He also informed them of upcoming contract opportunities for professional engineering services firms on major projects such as the I-490 Tollway, Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and I-294/I-57 Interchange, as well as across the Tollway system.
Following the presentation, Alvarez fielded questions from ACEC IL President Kevin Artl, a former chief operating officer at the Tollway. Several questions focused on how the Tollway and ACEC Illinois could continue working together to advance the mutual interests of the statewide transportation industry.
While thanking the engineering community for doing its part to increase diversity in the Tollway’s capital program, Alvarez encouraged them to find additional ways to increase diversity across the industry.
“[T]his industry has overwhelmingly responded to this moment in time and to the Governor’s challenge that our workforce – our collective workforce – better reflect the communities we serve and the rich diversity of this great state,” Alvarez said.
“Our agency has taken that challenge to heart and has worked tirelessly at finding ways to lift small, disadvantaged, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses and give them an opportunity to compete, with the ultimate goal of building capacity and opportunities for growth.”
Alvarez let the luncheon group know that the Tollway has been steadfast in delivering on its promises. Despite the ongoing challenges of doing business during a worldwide pandemic, the Illinois Tollway remains on track to achieve its goals – moving forward with construction of the I-490 Tollway and I-294 projects. This year, the Tollway expects to invest $1.53 billion in its regional infrastructure as part of the 10th year of the Move Illinois capital program.
The agency is also continuing to offer financial relief to customers through its TOLLING 2020 comprehensive relief package. Customers with outstanding violations can have existing fines of $20 and $50 reduced to $3 per toll violation, providing much-needed relief at a time when customers need it most. The violation relief offer has been extended through the end of June this year. The Tollway also introduced Pay by Plate as a new way for customers to pay their tolls.