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updated: 2/16/2018 5:11 PM

Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov resigns; expected to lead stadium authority

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  • Greg Bedalov

    Greg Bedalov

 
 

Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov has resigned after three years on the job, officials said.

The Downers Grove resident's last day is Friday, Director Joseph Gomez confirmed.

Bedalov is expected to begin a job as chief of the Illinois Sports Facility Authority, which handles construction of stadiums for professional sports teams. He did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Bedalov, former head of the Choose DuPage economic development group, started at the tollway in 2015 along with other newcomers in the wake of Gov. Bruce Rauner's election.

Rauner also appointed tollway Chairman Bob Schillerstrom of Naperville. However, the two men had a problematic relationship and differed on management issues, sources said.

In a statement issued Friday, Schillerstrom said the agency thanked Bedalov "for his outstanding service as executive director at the Illinois tollway and we wish him well as he pursues this new opportunity to lead the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority."

Tollway Director Neli Vazquez Rowland said, "I think that Greg Bedalov was a great asset to the tollway and he did his best to lead the agency with integrity while balancing the needs to be accountable to the board and helping us meet the priorities of tollway customers."

One name that's emerged as a successor is former Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, who did not return a call seeking comment.

During his tenure at the tollway, Bedalov oversaw the start of a massive $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway rebuild; the expansion of Route 390, formerly the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway; and the launch of a $25 million study on extending Route 53 into Lake County.

But the agency also has experienced turbulence over those issues, with a lawsuit emerging over the Route 53 plan and pushback from residents in Hinsdale and Oak Brook, among other communities, over widening the Tri-State.

The tollway is also embroiled in complicated negotiations with Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific railroads over land and right-of-ways the agency needs to build a ring road on the western side of O'Hare International Airport.

Before running the tollway, Bedalov was CEO of Choose DuPage, a public-private group that works to attract businesses to DuPage County, and president of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corp.