An Indiana bill that paves the way for a public-private partnership to design, build and operate the $1.1-billion Illiana Expressway through Indiana and Illinois unanimously passed the Indiana Senate on March 2. The 25-mile expressway would provide an east-west bypass for truck traffic and commuters south of Chicago by linking I-65 in Indiana with either I-57 or I-55 in Illinois. The bill authorizes the Indiana Finance Authority to search for a private investor to finance the design and construction of the roadway, as well as operate the road as a tollway. Construction is expected to begin in 2017.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.