Chicago Construction News staff writer
Reconstruction and modernization of the Jane Byrne and Weber Road interchanges have won top honors among Midwest states in the America’s Transportation Awards. Revitalization of the aged Byrne turned one of the nation’s slowest, most congested highway freight bottlenecks into a multimodal corridor and the Weber Road interchange project included a diverging-diamond design.
“We pride ourselves on innovative infrastructure improvements that boost the overall quality of life for our residents,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These awards provide welcome recognition of these efforts and help remind the public that IDOT is constantly employing new and effective ways to modernize our infrastructure and improve access for all.”
One of the largest projects in state history, reconstruction of the Byrne cost more than $800 million and included rebuilding multiple bridges over the interchange to accommodate wider sidewalks and bike lanes. Construction transformed Peoria Street into an expansive walkway and rehabilitated the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line station.
The awards program is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to recognize states for critical infrastructure work.
“In addressing the transportation challenges of today and tomorrow, state DOTs demonstrate a strong determination to bring innovative solutions to their communities,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director. “The America’s Transportation Awards serves as a testament to their endeavors. These projects play a vital role in improving safety, enhancing mobility and revitalizing transportation resources for drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit customers alike.”