The Illinois Tollway embarked on an ambitious plan to widen and rebuild all 62 miles of the I-90 Jane Addams Tollway. The widening included a new travel lane, as well as a widened interior median that could accommodate vehicles and buses. The project was a massive undertaking, as the goal was to complete the entire project, from planning to final opening, in four years – all while minimizing right of way and fitting the improvements into the existing right of way footprint as much as possible. Benesch (as part of a joint venture team) led two parts of this project: a seven-mile design section and 25 miles of overall corridor management. Over three years, the design team developed plans for the corridor including retaining walls, noise walls, mainline pavement widening and reconstruction, watermain, new ramp toll plazas, lighting, ITS and seven bridges.
Benesch had to ensure that the corridor was consistent across the 52 separate contracts held by ISTHA. In addition, the design team coordinated with an extensive list of stakeholders in the area, including ten neighboring communities, counties, forest preserves, O’Hare International Airport and many others.
The design involved a corridor-wide effort to recommend a Smart Corridor plan, consisting of state-of-the-industry equipment, as well as 18 miles of active traffic management (ATM) and lane control signs/DMS for every lane. An extensive maintenance of traffic plan was also established to eliminate the need for a counter flow lane; as well as an optimized schedule and cost to reduce impacts to the motoring public.