Illiana Corridor

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Bringing people together across state lines

Illiana-regional_mapWorking across state lines can be challenging. But when managed correctly, interstate projects can benefit an entire region, which, in turn, can affect the entire country. The proposed Illiana Corridor traces its roots back more than 100 years to when Daniel Burnham drafted his Plan for Chicago. In it, he describes the benefits of a South Suburban thoroughfare that bypasses the congestion of the city. His plan was prophetic as the region exploded in growth and progress, underscoring the need for relieving traffic congestion in Chicago.  The challenge was choosing the right route to maximize the benefits and set the stage for future generations.

Images, Inc. began working with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) on the environmental impact study in June 2011, kicking off one of the most comprehensive and effective public involvement programs both states had ever seen. Because of the magnitude of the Illiana Corridor Project, a 47-mile, east-west highway that will connect I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, the environmental process was divided into two tiers. Images led the extensive public involvement process for both tiers, which included 300 small group meetings, 15 Corridor Planning Group meetings, 5 public meetings in each state, 2 public hearings in each state, 5 landowner meetings with more than 800 people in attendance and 2 land use workshops.  Literally thousands of people have attending these meetings to get information on this important project.  Each meeting was planned, promoted and executed by the Images team, amounting to more than 2 years of consistent and effective stakeholder outreach.

This project was the first in the nation to use a combined federal and environmental clearance process, known as Map-21, initiated by the 2012 Federal Highway Authorization bill. Images helped plan and manage hundreds of stakeholder meetings, including local community briefings, and three sets of public meetings with record numbers of people in attendance.  Images led the outreach, created informative meeting materials, mailings and newsletters as well as planned and facilitated the public meetings and assisted in landowner outreach. Our team branded the entire campaign and designed all of the printed and digital materials, including the project website. We surveyed communities, held focus groups and conducted field studies to identify stakeholders and respond to questions.   In February 2013, Corridor B3 was chosen to move into detailed analysis.

open source video, online video platform, video streaming, video solutions Images worked with IDOT and INDOT to determine that this route is the least costly to construct, attracts the most through traffic, is most compatible with existing buildings and local development plans, and creates intermodal transportation links that are vital for trucking, logistics, and interstate travel. It will provide $1 million in daily travel time saving and reduce arterial road travel by 26 million miles per year.

Images continues to guide the discussion as Illinois, Indiana and the communities most affected learn about the project and its benefits to the region.  Images record of effective stakeholder outreach and communications, media outreach and meeting planning helped expedite the ROD process, saving taxpayers money and contributing to an extremely important and significant decision in future regional planning.

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The Illiana Public Private Partnership (P3)

Moving beyond the environmental process into the project financing, Illinois and Indiana have passed legislation that allows the Illiana Corridor to be financed under a P3 agreement, which is an innovative solution to financing large public works projects without burdening taxpayers.  IDOT and INDOT along with the Indiana Finance Authorty (IFA) have issued Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) from proposers for construction and maintenance of the Illiana, also known as the “Availability Payment Structure.”  In addition to seeking proposer teams, Illinois and Indiana are reaching out to disadvantaged, minority and women-owned business enterprises to partner with large firms so that more workers and businesses benefit from this project.

Images has worked with IDOT and INDOT/IFA on a comprehensive outreach plan to attract hundreds of businesses — ranging from worldwide corporations, to small businesses and local laborers — to get qualified respondents interested in bidding on the project.  Images has planned, promoted and implemented 3 major industry forums, including the P3 Industry Forum, featuring Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, that drew hundreds of attendees from around the world.  From identifying prospects and branding and marketing the event, to creating materials, speeches and multi-media presentations, Images successfully managed the entire P3 outreach process, helping to garner interest in financing the Illiana.

The Illiana Public Private Partnership (P3)

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