UPDATE: Indiana to issue second Illiana RFQ

A second request for qualifications (RFQ) for the bi-state Illiana Expressway will be issued in the next few weeks, PPP Bulletin understands.

Following the news that the state of Illinois will issue the RFQ for its portion of the proposed $1bn highway by 8 November, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) told PPP Bulletin that the tender for its portion of the deal will follow by "mid-November".

The Indiana RFQ will follow the same lines as its Illinois counterpart and utilize an availability payment structure under a design, build, finance, operate and maintain model.

"This will keep the procurement on the aggressive schedule announced at the industry forum this summer," a spokesperson for INDOT said.

"We are working closely with Illinois to ensure best practices and the smoothest procurement possible."

The news represents a swift turnaround for the project’s procurement plans after the deal was thrown into controversy at the end of last month when it was  criticized and blocked by key Chicago planning agencies.

However, the project was eventually backed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Policy Committee at the end of October.

Completion of the deal has now been earmarked for 2015 and will see a new highway running from Wilmington, Illinois to Cedar Lake, Indiana.