I-80 is a major cross-country truck route with growing congestion, poorly functioning interchanges, deteriorating pavement and more than 35 bridges requiring rehabilitation. HNTB is the managing partner of a joint venture team performing Phase I and Phase II engineering services for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). This $800 million project has three distinct projects: Phase I near-term improvements, Phase II near-term design, and Phase III long-term improvements.

Phase I Near-Term Improvements – HNTB led Phase I engineering and environmental services for 16 miles on I-80 from Ridge Road to US 30. Near-term improvements focused on existing corridor conditions that needed correction, rehabilitation or reconstruction before the long-term project. The near-term study identified pavement and bridge rehabilitation/replacement, and safety and operational needs to extend the useful life of the interstate as well as improve safety. One critical item was facilitating construction staging and maintenance of traffic (MOT) for the anticipated long-term improvements.

Phase II Near-Term Design – The near-term Phase II provides interim conditions and improvements before the long-term improvements are implemented. Two separate contracts were competed by the HNTB team:

  • Design plan, specifications and estimates of four bid packages for resurfacing and structure repairs to I-80 from the county line to just west of US 30. HNTB developed a challenging staging plan that required two lanes of traffic in each direction that included reduced width shoulders on some of the bridges and I-80 during the day.
  • Design plan, specifications, and estimates that are a continuation from the Phase I design for approximately 1.5 miles of I-80 in Will County. This project is estimated to be around $70 million and includes roadway reconstruction and improvements/replacement of five sets of structures and their associated interchanges from Chicago Street through to just east of CN Railroad/Rowell Street structure, which incorporate ultimate long-range improvements to widen the interstate in each direction to three or four lanes (where applicable).

Phase III Long-Term Improvements – HNTB helped lead Phase I engineering and environmental services for proposed improvements for adding an additional lane and auxiliary lanes between several closely spaced interchanges, widening and replacing 24 bridges within the study area, widening and repairing 11 bridges within the study area, and completely updating the interchange configuration at three locations. HNTB also led the development of a bridge type study report for the bridge replacement of mainline I-80 crossing the Des Plaines River.  Extensive coordination which included public meetings, project working group meetings and a public hearing occurred with agencies and the public following IDOT's Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) process.

Location: Kendall, Grundy and Will Counties, IL

Client: Illinois Department of Transportation