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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