Sheridan Road construction waiting on Illinois House of Representatives budget vote


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Traffic barriers line Sheridan Road. Construction work is currently stopped because of the state's budget impasse.

Ben Pope, Summer Editor

Construction on Sheridan Road along Northwestern’s campus remains paused while Illinois lawmakers work to pass a budget, Evanston city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said Wednesday.

Bobkiewicz added he is still unsure what other local effects could come without a budget in place past last Saturday’s deadline, but is cautiously optimistic that a budget will be passed soon and that the City of Evanston will “come out of all of it OK.”

In June, Gov. Bruce Rauner called a special legislative session in order to pass a budget, but vetoed a $36 billion spending plan and income tax increase that was sent to him Tuesday after it passed in both houses. The Senate has already voted to override Rauner’s veto and the House of Representatives is scheduled to conduct a similar vote Thursday after failing to reach quorum Wednesday.

Construction fences were put up on both sides of Sheridan and some trees were removed, but no other work has yet been completed due to anticipation of last Saturday’s shutdown.

The project is one of about 900 transportation projects statewide that are currently halted, affecting about around 20,000 workers, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

If a budget is passed, the city will reach out the project contractor and work out a new schedule, with construction likely resuming 10 days to two weeks afterwards, Bobkiewicz said.

The income tax increase would affect Evanston residents but not the city itself, Bobkiewicz said, and the budget passage would remove the possibility of the property tax freeze that Rauner has recently called for.

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