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Communication

IRTBA will be the recognized authoritative public voice and credible information source for the transportation design and construction industry in Illinois. IRTBA will drive change through various methods of communication and calls to action with members and the public. The following Communications goals were accomplished in the first and second quarters of 2020:

  • Created a Pandemic Preparedness Resources web page, posting and hosting 340+ links relevant to business owners and employees regarding the impacts to state agencies, safety, labor, legal, legislative, insurance, financial, taxes, human resources and staffing, etc. The landing page allowed members to gather resources from member experts, esteemed medical resources, and more.
  • Reported on the Illinois General Assembly being called back to Springfield via a Special Session Proclamation, and the details and purpose for this emergency Special Session. Provided a summary of the marathon session’s accomplishments – including approval of several omnibus measures – like passing a Capital Bill, as well as some of the difficulties the General Assembly faces in passing the FY 2021 budget.
  • Informed members about the details of the long-awaited agreement between the Illinois Tollway and Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific Railroads regarding Right of Way for Western Access of the I-490 to O’Hare International Airport.
  • Advised members on a new Executive Order issued by Governor JB Pritzker that requires masks on jobsites where six-feet of social distancing wasn’t possible, and employs business to provide masks or face coverings.
  • Educated members on OSHA’s interim guidance on recording COVID-19 illnesses on their 300 logs, except in certain instances. Also enlightened members on two new temporary interim enforcement memos released by OSHA to help with N95 mask shortages.
  • Informed members about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) extension of their relaxation of Hours of Service rules and other regulations – a positive step forward for the transportation design and construction industry.  
  • Reported on Illinois Comptroller data for FY2020 monthly Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) collections and the state’s new Transportation Renewal Fund (TRF) data regarding the overall decline in funding and outlook for future fiscal years due to COVID impact and the lack of vehicles on the road.
  • Produced and hosted one of the first informative webinars for industry after the COVID-19 pandemic began on “Construction Continuity with IDOT,” which included information on work stoppages, new policies and procedures, changes to Motor Fuel Tax collections, and more.
  • Reported on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s (T&I) $495 billion INVEST in America Act.
  • Informed members about the new Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, noting the removal of some previously-included limitations on how PPP loan funds can be used and forgiven.
  • Promoted Work Zone Safety Awareness Week virtually this year, with multiple training opportunities and a social media campaign. WBBM Traffic & Weather even promoted our messaging by retweeting one of our posts!
  • Informed members of interim guidance issued by the CDC on Safety Practices specific to Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 via the Friday Facts eNewsletter.
  • Informed members about a national plea to the federal government from State DOTs to avoid major disruptions in operations and maintenance of transportation systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included statistical data about the various funding shortfalls and the financial impacts of the virus, and noted several policy recommendations to assist with the revenue backstop.
  • Notified members of certified payroll policy and procedural updates for IDOT and the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).
  • Pushed out an IRTBA Insider and multiple reminder pieces in the Friday Facts to communicate COVID safety practices and enforcement recommendations to contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.
  • Served as a conduit between industry and agencies about site access restrictions and notices from contractors, including providing written notice to IDOT that IDOT personnel will be provided access to all of the contractors’ sites.
  • Published the Illinois Small Business Administration (Illinois SBA) active lenders list to all members, which included a list of all financial institutions that will be eligible to run loans through the Illinois SBA's COVID-19 loan program.
  • Communicated with IDOT on a problem that presented itself as sensitive in the COVID-era: material delivery tickets. Advised members about various options IDOT would be considering for ticket policy changes for delivery of materials that would still satisfy their requirements to adequately document material delivery with COVID safety considerations.  
  • Informed members about State Senator Ram Villivalam’s (D-Chicago) appointment as the new Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and highlighted his transportation and infrastructure priority plan.
  • Reported on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) most-relevant proposed changes to the transportation design and construction industry for the federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which would allow increased flexibility while maintaining appropriate safety standards.
  • Produced a time-sensitive and informative webinar on the new CARES Act legislation and the financial implications and the tax credits associated with the Act, all of which was done on short notice with a very quick turnaround time. Communicated the sense of urgency to apply to members, as the signature was still drying on the law books, and all funding was on a first come, first served basis.
  • Published a list of the Tollway’s 2020 Capital Improvement Plan and estimated quantity of commodities to help keep industry informed about needed materials and supplies to help deliver these important improvements.
  • Promoted various virtual info sessions, public hearings, and project opportunities, including I-55 at IL-59 Access Study in Will County, the Jane Byrne Interchange, CREATE Program’s 75th Street CIP, Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project 2020 Construction Forum, the “Seize an Opportunity with the Illinois Tollway” event, CDA’s Construction Managers At Risk (CMAR) COVID Update, and the Tollway’s LCPTracker System training.
  • Reported on Governor JB Pritkzer’s State of the State Address, where he highlighted the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program that he signed last June, noting that the program would make transportation design and construction jobs more inclusive and diverse by investing in the Illinois Works program to recruit new construction apprentices and set strong goals for our public works projects to include diverse employees.
  • Assisted labor unions by issuing a call to action to all members regarding needed donations for equipment/machine hours for training purposes.
  • Provided members with an analysis of President Donald Trump’s 10-year, $810 billion highway and transit program reauthorization proposal and Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which included $190 billion in one-time infrastructure spending.
  • Promoted an online survey by our national affiliate, ARTBA, to inform the development of new resources and strategies to reduce struck-by hazards and protect workers, which is the leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry.
  • Published a letter from IRTBA President & CEO Mike Sturino regarding IRTBA’s close communications with IDOT and Tollway officials regarding the commitment to keep work going and keep Illinois moving during the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Informed members about new IDOT protocols and procedures regarding project delays in the event of a COVID-19 case on a worksite, as well as adjusted pre-qualification procedures that extended rating deadlines until the end of July.
  • Encouraged industry companies to consider donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies to the Illinois State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) due to the critical shortage of PPE for front line health care workers, which included N95 masks, Tyvek suits, face shields and more.
  • Notified members of the Illinois Department of Labor’s (IDOL) delay of implementation of PA 100-1177, which would have required filing certified payrolls online directly to IDOL rather than the agency where the work is performed.
  • Notified members of the 2019 tax deadline extensions for the state of Illinois, including details about quarterly estimate deadlines not being extended, which would impact select members of industry such as salesmen, independent contractors, partners in firms, etc.

A complete outline of the IRTBA's 2020 Accomplishments in quarters one and two are available here.
A complete outline of the IRTBA's 2019 Year in Review is available here.

Contact: Liz Carrero | Director of Communications| E: liz@irtba.org | P: (630) 626-3576

500 Park Boulevard, Suite 1250
Itasca, Illinois 60143
Phone: (630) 773-1220
Fax: (630) 773-1231
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