I-255 Roadway and Bridge Rehabilitation

Firm: Oates Associates, Inc. & Horner Shifrin

Other Consultants: Illinois Department of Transportation, Quigg Engineering, EFK Moen, Fuhrmann Engineering, Inc., Keeley & Sons, Inc., The Killian Corporation

Owner: Illinois Department of Transportation

Description:I-255 was known as one of the worst roads in Illinois, with deteriorated infrastructure that caused many problems for motorists. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) maintained the road to the best of its ability to keep it safe for the traveling public, but the rapid rate of deterioration continued to be a problem. With funding from the Rebuild Illinois program, a $45 billion capital plan and investment in multimodal Illinois infrastructure, IDOT was able to rehabilitate 7 miles of the interstate and 22 structures. With the help of Oates Associates and Horner & Shifrin, the project was completed more quickly and safely, and at a lower cost.

Oates Associates and Horner & Shifrin worked with IDOT to complete improvements from I-55/70 to Illinois Route 15. The concept of a complete interstate closure to execute improvements was vetted and accepted by IDOT with the benefit of keeping motorists and workers safe, saving money and completing the project more quickly. By analyzing the surrounding roadway network and verifying that the displaced traffic could be accommodated on nearby routes during the closure, the full closure was deemed feasible.

Construction was anticipated to take 10 months instead of 4 years with staged construction but in fact, construction was completed in 9 months. The full closure resulted in $14 million in savings as a result of the elimination of costs that would have been incurred from repairing lanes that would have stayed opening during staged construction. That money was allocated to other critical infrastructure projects.

“This highway saw $67 million worth of drainage upgrades, bridge repairs, and resurfacing. Best of all, we got this project done in record time - months instead of years - saving money and protecting drivers and workers alike by strategically closing the road for work,” said Governor JB Pritzker during the October 22nd press conference. IDOT understands that work zones can be frustrating and potentially dangerous to both drivers and field crews. Safety was maximized to the fullest for both workers and the traveling public with the full closure, resulting in 0 fatalities through the elimination of motorist and worker conflicts.

What was once a burdensome drive for motorists due to the rough and failing pavement, much of which was from the original construction in the 1980s, is now a smoother, safer roadway to accommodate the traveling public.

Illinois Department of Transportation

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