Illinois Department of Transportation I-55 Lakeshore Drive to I-94
The Ardmore Roderick and EDI Joint Venture provided Phase III Engineering services for the reconstruction of I-55 (the Stevenson Expressway) from Lake Shore Drive (US Route 41) to I-94 (Dan Ryan). At its eastern terminus I-55 links into Lake Shore Drive via several ramps and bridges; this urban expressway, neighbor to McCormick Place and Soldier Field, connects the neighborhoods and the lakefront from the south to the Central Business District and the Loop to the north. The project limits along I-55 include the structure and approach roadways extending from approximately Prairie Avenue spanning over Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the Illinois Central (IC) Railroad/Metra Electric tracks to Lake Shore Drive. The improvement limits along Lake Shore Drive extend from approximately 23rd Street near Soldier Field to approximately 1000’ north of 31st Street. The total project length including the six bridge structures is approximately 5,869’ (1.1 miles) long.
The project work included three new bridge structures, three retaining walls, installation of curb and gutter, modifications to drainage structures, and relocation of light poles and signs. Work also included upgrades/additions to surveillance equipment. Several green initiatives are anticipated for use on this project including the use of recycled aggregates, protection of natural habitat through the use of a well-defined stormwater pollution prevention plan, and erosion control measures as allowed within the project limits. The methods of construction and temporary traffic control for this project are limited by the fact that all of the interchange ramps are currently on structure. Ardmore Roderick coordinated with Metra on the relocation of utilities. Work was completed in stages with some new bridges being built on new alignments to allow the current flow of traffic to remain the same. There were short term detours needed during beam erection and connections of the newly constructed structures.
As part of the overall project, Ardmore Roderick’s survey personnel provided Phase III Land Surveying Services. Quality assurance and quality control as-built survey checks were performed as required by the Engineering Services Contract. This project required extending the Route Survey Location Control Network, providing timely location checks on bridge piers and foundations, and surveying of grades for excavated and final surfaces. Multiple Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) Models were solved. From those models, cross-sections were plotted, and earthwork volumes were calculated utilizing MicroStation and GeoPak. The volumes were reported for contractor pay quantities.