President Trump’s Proposed Infrastructure Plan: The Shift to Local Funding and Illinois’ Response

How will Illinois respond: acknowledge that the current Administration is unwilling to provide direct support and offer local funding solutions or continue to hold out for broader federal aid? Continue reading “President Trump’s Proposed Infrastructure Plan: The Shift to Local Funding and Illinois’ Response”

More Infrastructure Investment Would Kickstart Illinois

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. This post is part of the “Frankonomics” series. Physical infrastructure investment is one of the main government expenditures that conclusively enhances … Continue reading More Infrastructure Investment Would Kickstart Illinois

Collaborative Development: The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI.


A new ILEPI Policy Brief, released this morning, investigates the pros and cons of public-private partnerships in the construction industry. [Update: The Monitor article].

The report, Collaborative Development: The Pros and Cons of P3s on Construction Projects (PDF), finds that public-private partnerships (P3s)– such as the proposed Illiana Expressway– offer the potential for significant cost savings for the public sector. P3s allow governments to increase internal investment, capitalize on the efficiencies and innovations of private companies, and build infrastructure slightly less expensively and slightly more quickly. For the private sector, P3s provide stable assets (infrastructure facilities) with predictable long-term returns from user fees for portfolio diversification. P3s also allow private entities, backed by the government, to borrow cheaply.

The Policy Brief utilizes case studies to demonstrate how P3s may be mutually beneficial and discusses the expected positive benefits of three potential P3 projects in the Midwest: Continue reading “Collaborative Development: The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships”

Debunking 10 Myths about the Proposed Illiana Expressway

In the past few weeks, the proposed Illiana Expressway has been subject to much criticism. Most of this criticism, however, has relied more on rhetoric and misinformation than actual fact. Below, 10 myths about the Illiana Expressway are debunked.

Myth #1: The Illiana Expressway will serve little to no purpose.

Truth: The Illiana Expressway is a proposed 47-mile toll road that would link I-55 in Will County, Illinois to I-65 in Lake County, Indiana. The corridor is intended to primarily benefit the heavy-trucking industry in the short run, servicing the growing intermodal freight system in south Chicagoland. Diverting trucking traffic from I-80, I-90, and Route 30, however, relieves congestion and benefits commuters and families. One southern Chicagoland government official told me that “to those of us who live with the truck traffic congestion on local roads with the related increased costs of maintenance and public safety issues, the need is far more obvious” than to those outside of southern Chicagoland.

Additionally, the expressway will have long-term transportation benefits, as the population of Will County is expected to grow by 548,000 (CMAP) to 695,000 (IDOT) people by 2040. The Illiana Expressway is a forward-thinking project that will be vital to these future families, businesses, and visitors. Finally, the likely construction of the South Suburban Airport (often called Lincoln National Airport), which also is projected by CMAP to generate 7,737 direct jobs and 42,739 additional jobs, only raises the need for the Illiana project.

Myth #2: The Illiana Expressway will unnecessarily burden taxpayers. Continue reading “Debunking 10 Myths about the Proposed Illiana Expressway”