Chicago’s Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction competing for America’s top transportation project

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Reconstruction of the Jane Byrne Interchange is a finalist for the grand prize in the America’s Transportation Awards, top honor for state departments of transportation. The project was recognized as one of the biggest projects in state history while improving safety, mobility and quality of life across the region and at the neighborhood level.

“We are honored to receive this recognition for our efforts on behalf of the people of Illinois and excited to showcase the important role our state plays as the transportation hub of North America,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These are more than just projects to us, but opportunities to make our communities safer, better places to live, work and play.”

The Byrne now competes for the national Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. Both come with $10,000 in prize money for a charity or not-for-profit chosen by the winning states. An independent panel of transportation industry experts will select the Grand Prize winner, while the general public will decide the people’s choice award through an online vote.

Winning projects will be announced Nov. 15 in Indianapolis. Online voting for the people’s choice award continues through Nov. 14 at americastransportationawards.org.

Twelve finalists were selected from 81 projects submitted nationwide for the contest, hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“These projects selected for our Top 12 list shine a spotlight on our most innovative and impactful projects in this year’s competition,” said AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon. “These vital projects deliver a range of benefits for their communities — whether providing emergency services during natural disasters, adding mobility options such as transit and active transportation infrastructure, or working with partners to address larger societal issues like homelessness. These Top 12 projects and initiatives showcase how state DOTs are building more equitable, resilient and multimodal infrastructure for our communities.”

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