Both the Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation have begun the search for private partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain their segments of the Illiana Corridor.
Both agencies have issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), seeking qualifications by private-industry partners.
Each Statement of Qualifications will be used to determine the candidate’s eligibility in the upcoming public-private partnership (P3) process. The Illinois and Indiana portions of the Illiana Expressway will be developed independently, under separate P3 projects.
Private-sector participation is being sought to spur innovation that will lead to delivery of the Illiana more quickly, efficiently and at less cost, utilizing an availability payment structure. Availability payment is when a private concessionaire designs, constructs, operates and maintains a tolled or nontolled roadway for a set period of time and receives set payments for the availability of the facility based on meeting performance criteria. Financing options may include private equity, taxable debt, federal credit assistance such as TIFIA, and private activity bonds. Availability payments have been widely used in Canada, Europe and Australia, but are just beginning to gain momentum in the U.S.
IDOT and INDOT are working together to coordinate technical requirements, tolling policy, the federal environmental approval process and construction schedules for the two-state Illiana Corridor Project.
“We had tremendous response from the private sector during an Illiana Industry Forum earlier this year, and we look forward to hearing from those groups as we move forward in the procurement process,” said Indiana Public Finance Director Kendra York.
The Indiana portion of the Illiana Corridor runs from the Indiana/Illinois state line east to I-65. The Indiana procurement also will involve the construction of added capacity lanes on I-65 between U.S. 30 and S.R. 2.