Home Entertainment Construction giant sues tollway for firing; warns of delays, costs, safety issues

Construction giant sues tollway for firing; warns of delays, costs, safety issues

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Construction giant sues tollway for firing; warns of delays, costs, safety issues



A longtime Illinois tollway construction company sued the agency Wednesday, saying executives broke a multimillion-dollar contract to rebuild an interchange without explanation.

Judlau Contracting Inc. has a 10-year history with the Illinois tollway, which has paid the company millions of dollars to undertake some of its major projects.

One of its latest endeavors was a massive redo of a portion of the I-290 and I-88 interchange near Oak Brook.

But on May 16, “the tollway abruptly terminated the contract without any proper legal basis,” according to a lawsuit filed in DuPage County court.

“At this time, the tollway has no comment,” agency spokesman Dan Rozek said.

Judlau was chosen as the lowest bidder in 2023 to reconfigure the southbound side of the tangled interchange for about $323 million, the lawsuit states.

The company had hired subcontractors and laborers, moved equipment to the site, secured materials, and was about six weeks into construction when it was dismissed “in a cursory two-sentence letter.”

Pulling the plug on the work will impact hundreds of jobs, Judlau contends, and also create traffic hazards. Workers “left the site in a safe condition via use of temporary barriers — but this is not a permanent solution.”

In addition, finding a replacement contractor will take months because of state laws requiring a competitive bid process and that could result in millions of dollars of additional costs, company officials said.

“After repeated efforts to engage the tollway on their abrupt decision were rebuffed, regrettably, we were forced to take this action to protect ourselves, our subcontractors, Illinois taxpayers and motorists,” Judlau Executive Vice President Arnav Amin said.

The lawsuit seeks a court order preventing the tollway from awarding the contract to another construction company without following the usual procurement process, and related compensation.

The interchange work is tied into a rebuild of the Tri-State Tollway stretching from Rosemont to Oak Lawn.