Jane Byrne Interchange Misc. Interchnage Ramps
Owner: Illinois Department of Transportation
Description: In 2019, there were project delays associated with the adjacent on-going construction contracts that were beyond the reasonable control of the Contractor which resulted in an approved time extension of 7 weeks and changed the original completion date of 12/18/2020 to a revised completion date of 2/5/2021. Per the original approved progress schedule, the contractor was to pour the last three bridge deck units from September to November of 2020 and then switch traffic onto the new decks in early December of 2020. However, the above referenced delays resulted in the contractor’s bridge deck pouring being pushed to a mid-November start and a mid-January completion. Since pouring new bridge decks during December and January was not feasible due to the cold temperatures, the contractor was preparing to go into winter shut down and wait until Spring to complete the remaining bridge decks. This would have delayed the project by an additional seven months with the project being completed in July 2021 instead of December 2020. OMEGA identified several time saving solutions to mitigate the schedule impacts and get the project back on-schedule. OMEGA’s innovative approach was to redesign and reconfigure the traffic staging patterns so that Ramp WS Pier 12, Ramp SE Pier 4, and Ramp WS Pier 3 could be constructed ahead of schedule rather than per the contract plan schedule. This would allow the bridge deck units associated with these piers to be poured from September to November 2020 and allow all new lanes to be opened to traffic on schedule before the 2020 Christmas Holiday. Per the contract plans and the contractor’s original progress schedule, the last three bridge deck units scheduled to be poured were Ramp WS Unit 4, Ramp SE Unit 2, and Ramp WS Unit 1. Theses bridge deck units could not be constructed until after their last remaining bridge piers were completed which were Ramp WS Pier 12, Ramp SE Pier 4, and Ramp WS Pier 3, respectively. Per the contract plans, construction of these three (3) piers was not allowed to begin until Stage 5 after the closure of Ramp EN by adjacent contract 60X79 which was anticipated June 11, 2020. The contractor’s original schedule showed that all three piers were originally scheduled for construction from June to September of 2020 with the corresponding bridge decks to follow in October and November of 2020. However, as mentioned above, delays to the contract by adjacent construction contracts pushed the pouring of these bridge decks until Spring of 2021. Rather than wait until June of 2020 to begin work on these three piers per the contract plans, OMEGA developed revised staging plans which included the construction of additional temporary pavement along Ramp EN so that traffic could be relocated out of the way of the work zones required for the construction of the three piers. These revised staging plans allowed the contractor to begin work on the piers starting in September of 2019 instead of waiting until June of 2020. As this work was shown as the contractor’s controlling item, any work completed ahead of June 2020 would have a direct result on the schedule by helping to recover time already lost to acknowledged project delays. The contractor was able to complete all three piers by June of 2020 and get back on schedule which allowed him to complete the bridge decks from between September and November of 2020 as originally scheduled and subsequently open all new lanes to traffic in early December of 2020 which was a week ahead of the original completion date. OMEGA developed new Suggested Stages of Construction and Traffic Control Plan for three distinct stages of Ramp EN which depicted the revised geometry, lane configurations, pavement markings, locations of temporary concrete barrier wall and temporary impact attenuators, and signing. OMEGA’s ability to reconfigure the traffic staging and change the sequence of construction allowed the Contractor to gain back the time previously lost to delays which were of no fault of the contractor and open the new ramps one week ahead of the original completion date of December 18, 2020. OMEGA’s inventive reconfiguration of the traffic staging and changing the sequence of construction allowed the Contractor to complete the project ahead of schedule and prevented a seven-month delay to motorists along with associated delays to the on-going adjacent construction contract. These unique solutions saved the owner over $1.5 million in direct costs to the contract (extended project overhead, labor and materials escalation, and extended traffic control and protection), avoided additional closures and detours, reduced congestion, and helped maintain a positive public image. FUTURE VALUE TO THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION AND PERCEPTION BY THE PUBLIC OMEGA’s unique application of existing engineering techniques kept the expressway open to traffic, completed the construction on-time, and maintained the project’s budget which are the three most important factors by which the motoring public evaluates roadway construction projects. Through meeting the budget and time constraints of the client, OMEGA helped to maintain a positive public image of engineering. SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS OMEGA’s unique traffic staging solution to mitigate schedule delays had numerous positive effects: Provided an economic benefit by saving the State of Illinois taxpayers over $1.5 million. Helped keep the overall construction costs to within 3.0% within the original contract amount which is considered a success in today’s challenging environment. Reduced congestion through the interchange which kept drivers safer. Seven additional months of the motoring public having to travel through a construction work zone with reduced lanes and reduced shoulder widths was prevented. Improved the health of the public and the affected environment by completing the project on-time. Once completed the project resulted in reduced travel times and improved traffic flow which saved drivers fuel and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. By completing the project on-time, seven additional months of long travel times, slow traffic flow, greater fuel consumption, and more greenhouse gas emissions were avoided COMPLEXITY Constructing bridges in staged construction is complex because generally traffic is maintained on half of the existing bridge in reduced lanes while the other half is reconstructed which leaves no available space for traffic staging modifications. OMEGA utilized the IDOT Bureau of Design and Environment Manual, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for Streets and Highways, and IDOT Highway Standards for Traffic Control to develop the geometry for the new Suggested Stages of Construction and Traffic Control Plan sheets. EXCEEDING OWNER NEEDS OMEGA exceeded the goals of IDOT by developing new Suggested Stages of Construction and Traffic Control Plan sheets and issuing them to the contractor through a Construction Revision. Typically, Construction Revisions are developed and issued through IDOT’s Phase II Design Consultant. In this case, the complex Construction Revisions were developed and prepared by OMEGA, the Phase III Construction Engineering Consultant, within their existing Phase III budget. OMEGA worked closely with and successfully engaged IDOT during the solution development process. OMEGA’s solution was an economical and cost-effective solution which saved the State of Illinois over $1.5 million and kept the overall construction costs to within 3.0% within the original contract amount.
Illinois Department of Transportation