Illinois DOT Completes Reconstruction of Busy Interstate Ahead of Schedule

AASHTO Journal, 24 August 2012

Illinois Department of Transportation used a comprehensive traffic control strategy to reconstruct a stretch of Interstate 55 in less than one construction season and more than a week ahead of schedule, saving drivers commute time and construction headaches.

In October 2010, IDOT began the $42.3 million project, which rubblized existing concrete pavement and placed an 11.5 inch hot mix asphalt overlay on 11.24 miles of I-55. The heavily-traveled segment located in Madison County near St. Louis, Mo. was vital to the area, so IDOT knew it had to minimize inconvenience to drivers. IDOT developed a comprehensive strategy to manage traffic and accelerate schedules through innovative staging and construction techniques, as well as a computer-assisted traffic control system.

IDOT kept work running 24 hours per day all seven days of the week during key times. A Smart Traffic Monitoring System, consisting of 73 interconnected message boards along the length of the project, continuously monitored real-time traffic conditions, and automatically updated dynamic messaging. Drivers were alerted instantly to changing traffic conditions, providing time to react safely and avoid crashes.

The project was not only completed 12 days ahead of schedule, but also in less than a single construction season instead of two, saving drivers a whole construction season of delays. The solid partnership between IDOT, its project design firm (Johnson, Depp and Quisenberry), and its contractors (The Kilian Corporation and Keeley & Sons, Inc.) relied on careful planning and coordination, which IDOT credits for the project’s success.

The project also took home a regional award in the 2012 America’s Transportation Awards competition for its innovative staging and construction techniques and the use of the Smart Traffic Monitoring System.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials features a Project of the Week in each edition of the AASHTO Journal to highlight excellent state transportation department projects that are completed on time, under budget, and/or using innovative management. To nominate a completed project that meets these criteria, please e-mail editor AT Previous Project of the Week selections are available at

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