Bill puts quality of projects at risk
Every pothole we're forced to swerve around, every traffic jam we're forced to sit in and every delayed train we have to wait for is just another reminder of the obvious: Illinois' infrastructure is in bad shape.
When infrastructure projects are planned, designed and engineered by the most qualified professionals they last longer, require less maintenance over time and are safer overall. That's why proposed legislation in Springfield, HB 680, is so concerning.
HB 680 would deprioritize professional qualifications and instead prioritize cost and time savings in the procurement processes of local governments -- the government bodies responsible for a significant amount of infrastructure spending.
Gutting Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) standards could result in less qualified teams designing and engineering our state's most vital public infrastructure. More than just roads, bridges and railways, public infrastructure includes the facilities that clean and treat our drinking water, the nuclear sites that produce the energy that powers our homes and businesses and the schools, senior care facilities and hospitals that care for our loved ones.
With Congress and the White House considering a potentially $4 trillion infrastructure package, billions of which will be dedicated to infrastructure investments throughout Illinois, legislators in Springfield should ensure those investments are always designed and engineered by the most qualified professionals.
Settling for anything less than the most qualified professionals for this important work risks the safety and dependability of our public infrastructure. HB 680 is a risk that Illinois cannot afford to take.
Orhan Ilgaz Ulger