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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 2019:

  • IRTBA leaders and members participated in a vital “thank you” campaign for state senators and representatives who voted in favor of the indexed gas tax increases and passed the largest Illinois State Capital bill ever, Rebuild Illinois. Members hosted and attended Friend of Infrastructure mini-award ceremonies with legislators within their districts and at jobsites to present awards and have photo opportunities to honor and commemorate their commitments to transportation infrastructure. A massive number of meetings occurred and IRTBA advocates and volunteers came out to support events for the following legislators: House Leader Jim Durkin, House Majority Leader Greg Harris, Reps. Tom Bennett, Kelly Burke, Deb Conroy, Will Davis, John D'Amico, LaToya Greenwood, Barbara Hernandez, Stephanie Kifowit, Camille Lilly, Mike Marron, Marty Moylan, Anne Stava-Murray, Sue Scherer, Joe Sosnowski, Karina Villa, Maurice West, Lance Yednock, and Sam Yingling, as well as Assistant Senate Majority Leader Jay Hoffman and Sens. Jason Barickman, Christopher Belt, John F. Curran, Don DeWitte, Ann Gillespie, Don Harmon, Mattie Hunter, Andy Manar, Sue Rezin, Steve Stadelman, and Dave Syverson to express gratitude for voting for the gas tax increase and Rebuild Illinois Capital Bill.
  • Joined a coalition called Citizens to Fund Safe Transportation which supports advertising for legislators who promote transportation investment.
  • Incoming P&D Board Chairman Kevin Fitzpatrick went on the Sunday Spin show on WGN Radio to discuss infrastructure.
  • Pushed out six calls to action the need for immediate capital investment, most notably, drumming up public support for a proposed statewide Capital Bill, which would increase transportation fees and increase funding by $2 billion annually. 
  • Prior to the passage of the Rebuild Illinois Capital Bill, IRTBA Chairman Mark Barkowski participated in a press conference in Springfield to unveil new language to HB 3233, which would provide $2.4 billion in sustainable, annual funding for Illinois’ roads, bridges, and transit systems. Chairman Barkowski noted the transportation design and construction industry’s support of a long-awaited, long-term funding solution to finance much-needed infrastructure improvements. IRTBA leaders Julie Chamberlin (Berger Excavating), Rashod Johnson (Ardmore Roderick), and John Kapovich (S&J Construction) were also present. 
  • IRTBA CEO Mike Sturino penned a solid OpEd in the July 9 issue of Crain’s Chicago Business on Fulfilling Chicago’s Transportation Destiny, as a part of its “Hopes for Chicago” series, looking at Mayor Lightfoot’s first 100 days and what the city’s hopes for her are. Crain’s invitation for the IRTBA to contribute to this series underscores the high regard with which the Association is held in key media, business and political circles. 
  • IRTBA Past Chair Dave Rock appeared in May on Fox 32 News to discuss how Illinois is short-changing road construction a minimum of $700-$800 million every year, noting that the industry has offered up some solutions in terms of how to pay for it, and urging time is of the essence to get it done (at the time, a Capital Bill had not yet been proposed).
  • Published an update on the U.S. Senate’s Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation Appropriations bill that, if enacted, would provide over $65 billion for highway, transit, and airport capital spending.
  • IRTBA CEO Mike Sturino appeared on WBBM radio discussing the dire circumstances of some of Illinois’ bridges.
  • Informed members about several new cabinet and agency board and leadership appointments during the transition of Governor Pritzker’s Administration.
  • Additional calls to action that preceded the now-passed state Capital Bill, which aided in expressing the urgent need for additional transportation dollars for projects in dire situations, including multiple bridge failures on Lake Shore Drive, Eisenhower Expressway, Des Plaines River Bridge in Joliet, I-80 over Route 53 in Joliet, and the Jefferson Barracks Bridge on Interstate 255 going westbound from Illinois into Missouri, in the vicinity of St. Louis.
  • Supported the Interstate 80 Coalition both financially and with staff and industry leadership committee representation.
  • Calls to action were also issued to gather grassroots support in opposition of bills that would harm member businesses, including a bill that would massively expand trucking prevailing wage, a bill regarding fly ash which would have caused the price of concrete to dramatically increase, and opposition for a bill that would make prime contractors liable for subcontractor employee wages.
  • IRTBA issued a report of the Pritzker Administration’s first month, including synopses of meetings where discussions included plans to garner support for a significant new infrastructure program, their commitment to maintain momentum on the Move Illinois program, the advisement of industry to appoint new leadership to ensure a strong construction season and keep the agencies moving in the right direction.  
  • IRTBA had nine members participating in our #GoOrange4Safety social media campaign this year. Dozens of photos were shared by member firms Ciorba Group, Corkill Insurance, Gallagher Asphalt, Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick, HNTB, K-Five Construction, OMEGA, Tri-State Asphalt, WSP USA, and even Governor J.B. Pritzker participated this year!
  • IRTBA provided several updates exclusively to members via our Friday Facts eNewsletter on IDOT’s Multi-Year Program (MYP).
  • IRTBA tracked a flurry of legislation that had the potential to impact IRTBA member firms. Information on significant legislation was published for member consumption in our Friday Facts eNewsletter and on our Bills on the Radar website forum.
  • Updated members on the Tollway Board shake up, major administration changes within FHWA; new key leadership appointments at IDOT, Tollway, CDOT, City of Chicago government; big leadership changes in the Illinois House and Senate – including new reps on the House and Senate transportation committees; new faces on the federal Transportation & Infrastructure Committee; big upsets in Chicago Aldermanic elections, as well as critical updates to survey worker litigation; NLRB Proposed Rule to Change its Joint Employer Standard; a new Illinois Tollway eProcurement system; Promoted Regional Transportation meetings, hosted by the Illinois Senate Joint Capital Subcommittees to ensure positive input was given by members of the transportation design and construction industry about several potential major improvement projects.

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

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Itasca, Illinois 60143
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