In The Spotlight

“In the Spotlight” showcases TranSystems’ news, staff, projects, awards, successes and other topics of special note to those in the industry as well as our clients.
Video of the Iconic Wacker Drive Project Now Available

TranSystems' Award-Winning Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway Reconstruction from TranSystems on Vimeo.

TranSystems has developed an informational project video detailing the challenges and successes of the iconic Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway Reconstruction project. Located in the heart of Chicago, Ill., this $303 million roadway, bridge and tunnel improvement project, involved complex staging to keep 135,000 vehicles and a staggering 150,000 pedestrians moving through the construction zone every day. The project was ultimately awarded the transportation engineering industry's coveted ACEC Grand Conceptor.

 View the case study here.

Project Background
Wacker Drive has been a major roadway in the heart of Chicago’s downtown area for over 80 years. The north-south section of Wacker Drive from Randolph St. to Congress Blvd. was completed in 1955, and prior to the project, in need of a complete reconstruction.
The deteriorated viaduct structure was replaced, lifting the vertical clearance by more than one foot by utilizing a post-tensioned deck structure.  The lower level through lanes and service drive were separated, alleviating congestion, expediting traffic and improving safety. New lighting and ventilation equipment improves visibility and air quality.  Upper level traffic and safety was significantly improved by removing ramps to the lower level at Jackson, Adams, Monroe and Washington.  The ramp at Monroe was replaced with a new one-way ramp to Lower Wacker Drive access controlled by a traffic signal. Upper level aesthetics were improved with the addition of landscaped medians, sidewalk planters and decorative light fixtures.
The reconfiguration of the Congress Parkway Interchange improved traffic safety and created new green space.  The Franklin ramp onto westbound Congress was removed to eliminate the double-merge with Lower Wacker Drive ramp onto westbound Congress.  Additionally, the Lower Wacker ramp was reconfigured to have a longer merge lane.
This roadway and bridge project is one of the most complicated ever completed by the City since it involves complex staging to keep 60,000 vehicles (ADT Wacker Drive), 75,700 vehicles (ADT) Congress Parkway and a staggering 150,000 pedestrians moving through the construction zone.
The construction a $303M complex bridge/highway project of this magnitude in the heart of one of the largest cities in the world on time and within budget is a feat rarely if ever accomplished, as was the case with the Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway Reconstruction.


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More In The Spotlight

Barbara Frost of the TranSystems St. Louis office has been inducted into the Civil and Environmental Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the University of Missouri, Columbia. click to read
Major airports across the country are in the middle of a construction boom, with a reported $5.42 billion spent on airport construction in May 2018 – a 75 percent increase over May 2017. A multi-year $14 billion construction plan is underway at LAX and New York’s LaGuardia has started a renovation worth an estimated $8 billion, while Chicago is in the midst of kicking off an $8.7 billion Capital Improvement Program. click to read
Built in 1697 and reconstructed in 1893, The Frankford Avenue Bridge over Pennypack Creek in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia recently underwent another rehabilitation continuing its history. TranSystems served as designer on the rehabilitation.  click to read
TranSystems Corp., a national transportation consulting firm that provides engineering, architectural, planning and construction solutions, welcomes Ali Tali, PE, as Vice President and Northeast Region Bridge Design Practice Leader. He will work out of the company’s Boston office. click to read
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) partnered to replace a BNSF bridge over the busy Interstate 235. The project was bid by ODOT as part of its largest construction package in history, at a contract bid price of $81 million, of which the truss bridge comprised $17.5 million. The contract time for the interchange project was 850 calendar days, which was reduced to 700 days using A+B bidding. Careful planning and modifying of construction sequences by the contractor further reduced the schedule to 550 days.
 click to read
TranSystems Corp., a national transportation consulting firm that provides engineering, architectural and planning solutions, welcomes Thomas Ionta, PE, as Vice President and Senior Project Manager in the company’s Santa Ana, Calif., office.   click to read
TranSystems has worked on more than 150 roundabouts in 13 states. Our traffic engineers nationwide work to help owners determine the best intersection to manage traffic and maintain safety for users.  click to read
With growing pressure to minimize costs and schedule on transportation projects, it’s increasingly important to ensure the best solutions and results. Applying practical design solutions can help owners find cost and time-saving measures to maximize tight budgets and schedules – ultimately delivering the best project to users.

 click to read