FAP 346: US 41 (Skokie Hwy) Roadway Resurfacing

Firm: SPAAN Tech, Inc.

Other Consultants:

Owner: Illinois Department of Transportation

Description: Original or Innovative Application of New or Existing Techniques: Scope of Work fell under Pavement Preservation Program (3P) which strategies encourage a more cost-effective strategy towards roadway rehabilitation.

Future Value to the Engineering Profession and Perception by the Public: This section of U.S. 41 is known locally as Skokie Highway and serves as an alternate route to I-94 for traffic between north suburbs of Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. The improvements to this vital stretch of highway are a benefit to the commuters of two states who rely on U.S. 41 for their transportation needs. This project also focused on minor safety improvements to address crash concerns along the project length. This was done with shoulder improvements improved striping, signage and guardrail. This project was highly visible to most North Shore Residents, as US 41 is the main north-south route for commuters, and semi-truck movements between the City and Southeast Wisconsin. Traffic congestion or lack of progress would put this construction project in a negative light. All the Cities, Towns and Villages along the route needed to understand the impacts to its residents and the duration of construction on the main intersections. Without this intensive coordination a positive improvement would be lost to frustration and travel delays. The need to highlight the safety improvements along this corridor was key to letting those who use it understand this is not about making the pavement smooth, it really is about enhancing safety. More importantly given that this work took place during the nighttime hours noise impacts to adjacent residents needed to be minimized, and construction worker safety enhanced. This project successfully addressed all these elements.

Social, Economic, and Sustainable Design Considerations: The U.S. 41 (Skokie Highway) improvement included replacing existing raised reflective pavement markings, including crosswalks, shoulder diagonals, striped islands, striped gore areas and stop bars. Improvements of this nature are a benefit both to the motorist, as well as, pedestrian traffic that frequent these areas. The extensive coordination with the adjacent Cities, Towns and Villages led to a well-run project minimizing impacts to residents, motorists, and truckers. When completed the drainage and shoulder improvements enhanced safety to all who use US 41 and the major intersections. Traffic noise was reduced with the new pavement. Scope of work for this project employed the use of Pavement Preservation Program (3P) which uses a cost-effective practices that extend pavements service life or sustainability.

Complexity: The U.S. 41 rehabilitation required a 12-mile improvement within Lake County within various municipalities. Due to the volume of traffic during peak periods, it required resurfacing operations to be completed overnight, typically between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Overnight work may reduce back-ups in construction zones, but it can be riskier if not implemented well. With less traffic speeds will be higher and motorists may not have a higher sense of conditions. To that end, the contractor and the resident engineer had regular safety meetings, traffic control and protection was checked with a greater frequency, and crews were protected as much as practical. Work zone lighting was critical to the success of the program. The contractor had to balance lighting, brightness, and glare to the through traffic. The existing asphalt pavement was surveyed before the proposed 2.5-inch-deep pavement surface removal (milling) started. A determination was made that about 75% of the proposed Class D Patch 18-inch quantities would not be needed. During the pavement survey extensive lengths of the existing longitudinal joint between lanes 1 & 2 was observed to be severely deteriorated approximately 6-9 inches deep intermittently throughout the projects. The proposed plans did not address this existing pavement condition. The solution was presented to IDOT to convert the excess Class D patching funds to a partial depth patching item 3 foot wide at 6 inches deep to be completed after the 2.5-inch pavement surface removal was completed. This revision was the most cost-effective means within the 3(P) program guidelines.

Illinois Department of Transportation