The Jane Addams Tollway is looking to the future in a year that has seen the largest upgrades to the Kennedy since the Eisenhower administration. Included in the overhaul is a 16 mile stretch of digital message boards spanning the newly widened lanes.
The project has been dubbed the “Smart Corridor” and is part of a federal pilot program testing how new technology will intersect with highway travel. La Grange Crane Service is working hand in hand with Meade Electric on the erection of the ½ mile separated notification boards.
Meade Superintendent Brian Pierson says, “There are over 325 digital boards across the roadway that are based on providing information to travelers such as road closures, traffic times, and lane usage speed.”
Overseeing the State’s multimillion dollar initiative comes with many obstacles. Namely, “working with constraints of live traffic and the lane closures required to complete daily tasks” Pierson stated.
Each digi-board is assembled on grade level alongside morning commuters. Upon completion, a 300 Ton Crane is dispatched to hoist the 150’ long structure while all traffic is brought to a screeching halt. The planning and coordination required to complete a crane lift within the confines of an active Tollway demonstrate the importance of communication between construction teams on a project of this magnitude.
The “Smart Corridor” is on pace to be completed in Spring of 2017. Time will soon tell whether daily commuters “get the message.”