Bipartisan legislation allowing for the implementation of design-build project delivery, an efficient, alternative method for completing the state’s infrastructure improvements, has been signed into law. State Senator Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) is the leading Republican on the money-saving bill.
Senate Bill 2981 creates the Innovations for Transportation Infrastructure Act, authorizing the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Tollway Authority to adopt the use of the design-build delivery method on highway construction projects. IDOT currently utilizes the design-bid-build project delivery method in which the department designs a construction plan, then reviews bids from contractors. Design-build would create a more efficient process, allowing a single contractor to handle both design and construction of the project. Any projects that adopt this method would be capped at a combined total of $400 million.
“This innovative approach to designing and building our state’s infrastructure will save time and money, and that’s a win-win for the taxpayers of Illinois,” said Sen. DeWitte, Minority Spokesperson of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We’re streamlining processes, maximizing efficiencies, and fostering a collaborative approach from start to finish. I am proud to be the leading Republican sponsor of this bipartisan legislation.”
The Act also authorizes IDOT and the Tollway to use the construction manager-general contractor delivery method on at most two projects per year. In adopting this method, the department would contract with a single contractor to serve as the construction manager for the design phase, then agree on a price to serve as general contractor for construction. Additionally, the Act requires IDOT and the Tollway to ensure full participation for minority and women-owned businesses by implementing separate goals for design and construction, bid-shopping protections, and requiring independent construction managers for projects costing over $30 million.
The adoption of the design-build method will serve as a method of streamlining the implementation of the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois infrastructure investment plan. Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state’s aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth.
Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but also the first that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The plan’s implementation has led to a complete revitalization of infrastructure in Illinois.