Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced today that the Illinois Tollway has garnered the top spot in Roads & Bridges magazine’s 2006 list of Top 10 North American Road Projects for its work on the new I-355 South Extension Project.
As part of the Governor’s $5.3 billion congestion relief plan, the Illinois Tollway is constructing a 12.5-mile, three-lane extension of the North-South Tollway (I-355) from its current terminus at the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) through Will County to I-80. Construction began in late 2004 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007.
In the October 2006 issue of Roads & Bridges, owners, designers and contractors of each of the top 10 projects will be recognized for meeting challenging road specifications, positively impacting the motoring public, and improving road safety without compromising the environment.
Design firms, DOTs and engineers nominated over 30 North American road projects, ranging in cost from $500,000 to over $700 million. To be considered for the competition, all projects were required to be in the design or construction phase within the past 18 months.
“As those in the area know, this project was in the planning stages for more than a decade to relieve traffic congestion in fast-growing Will County and was finally made possible by Governor Blagojevich's leadership of the Tollway's $5.3 billion Congestion-Relief Program,” said Illinois Tollway Acting Executive Director Brian McPartlin. “Roads & Bridges magazine said in our discussions with them that they appreciated the many challenges of building a new road that connects with two interstates as well as an existing Tollway in a highly developed metropolitan area, as well as the unique design and engineering challenges of building the DesPlaines River Valley Bridge that will span three waterways and railroad tracks.”