Illinois Tollway Presents 2012 Tentative Budget

October 21, 2011

The Illinois Tollway presented the 2012 Tentative Budget to the Board of Directors’ Finance Administration Operations Committee on Thursday, providing $607 million for capital projects. This includes $241 million for the first year of the agency’s new 15-year capital program Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

“This balanced budget provides the resources needed to launch the Move Illinois Program while holding the line on operating costs across the board,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “The 2012 budget will allow us to continue to provide a high level of service and break ground on new projects that will enhance regional mobility and, ultimately, save our customers time and money.”

The tentative budget includes funding for Move Illinois projects including construction of the new interchange at the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and I-57; construction of a new interchange at Illinois Route 47 on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90); and bridge and shoulder widening to prepare for the I-90 rebuilding and widening work scheduled to begin in 2013.

Also in 2012, capital projects will include roadway rehabilitation on the central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) from 95th Street to Balmoral Avenue; resurfacing on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) between Illinois Route 56 and Illinois Route 251; and completion of the Tri-Level Bridge project, improving ramps connecting I-294 and I-90.

In addition, the budget provides $9.6 million for information technology system enhancements and $8.8 million for I-PASS transponder purchases and automatic coin collection machine repairs. Other spending includes $7.9 million for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) improvements to monitor and detect traffic incidents and $1.6 million for the Illinois State Police District 15 to enhance public safety.

Revenues are projected to increase $293 million, from $680 million in 2011 to $973 million in 2012, primarily due to a toll rate increase for passenger vehicles approved by the Board last August and scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2012.  Of the $973 million, $963 million is from tolls and evasion recovery, $1 million is from investment income and $9 million is from concessions and miscellaneous revenue.

These revenues will allow the Tollway to allocate $266 million for maintenance and operations, including increases of $5.3 million for credit card fees to accommodate increased revenue collection and $4.4 million for mandatory social security and employee retirement costs.

The Tollway has made extensive efforts to reduce maintenance and operating costs in 2011. The 2012 budget reduces utility expenditures by approximately $1 million through efforts to reduce energy consumption and enhance energy efficiency; it also reduces insurance costs by more than $1 million.  Further, the Tollway is maintaining its current head count of 1,598 employees, while preparing to take on the largest capital program in the agency’s history.