Illinois DOT Advises Contractors of Possible Shut Down

June 15, 2017

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the Illinois department of Transportation will shut down roadwork statewide if Illinois' lawmakers don't get their act together and pass a budget by the end of this month.

“Due to the General Assembly’s refusal to pass a balanced budget, the Illinois Department of Transportation loses its ability to pay contractors starting July 1,” IDOT communications director Guy Tridgell said in an email.

“While we are hopeful the situation is resolved before then, the department is notifying contractors that all construction work is to shut down on June 30. Contractors will be advised to secure work zones to ensure their safety during any potential shutdown. As always, the safety of the traveling public will be the top priority as the department works through this process​,” Tridgell said. 

Illinois has had no budget for two years, thanks to the efforts of the governor and state lawmakers. With the state legislators help, the backlog of unpaid bills for companies supplying goods and services to Illinois is now $14.5 billion.

Some contractors seem to be reading the writing on the wall even before IDOT's announcement. Equipment being used to build the Route 47 extension in Grundy County has been pulled of the sites and no materials seem to be on hand at staging locations.

Earlier this month, S&P Global Ratings lowered the state's bond rating to one step above junk, citing legislators’ failure to pass a budget.