Just how much money are we paying in highway tolls, and where does it go?
You may have heard this question asked before.
The Illinois Tollway relies on the tolls it collects to fund its maintenance, operations and construction projects. Of the tolls collected annually 75% immediately goes back into funds that power roadway improvements as part of Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving The Future, a 15-year, $14 billion capital program.
One such project is the 159th Street Interchange.
The Illinois Tollway released bid quals in January of 2018 for General Contractors to:
- Demolish the existing four span bridge
- Reconstruct the four feeding ramps
- Erect a new two-span structure
- Accommodate future local improvements on 159th Street
The multi-phase bid invitation attracted over a dozen of Chicago’s most recognized and respected bridge builders.
Early on, Herlihy Mid-Continent Vice President Art Haggerty collaborated with La Grange Crane President Judi Mooncotch Jr. and Project Manager / 3D Lift Plan Certified Expert, Riley Pettrone. The goal being not only to win the contract but craft a perfect crane lift plan to minimize costs and maximize safety.
Herlihy Mid-Continent has been a linchpin in Chicago’s Heavy/Civil scene since 1919. A century later, La Grange Crane and Herlihy share many core values, specifically, Herlihy’s “Goin’ Home Safe” motto that is placed on every safety manual.
It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire organization to land a $14 million bridge job.
La Grange Crane President Judi Mooncotch Jr.’s involvement is integral to any public projects that utilize La Grange Crane’s WBE & DBE Certification in both Illinois and Indiana. The Illinois Tollway’s unwavering commitment to diversity engagement has led to 29.7% of work awarded to diverse businesses in 2018, up from just 25% in 2013.
Herlihy’s Becky Wright and Peter Ellement rounded out the team that blueprinted the RR-17-4349 contract submittal.
Fast forward nine months, and an incredible lift plan was brought to life under supervision of Herlihy Foreman Will Sidenstick and La Grange PM Riley Pettrone. A perfect plan is nothing without perfect execution, and on this project, there was both.
On site, La Grange’s 275 Ton Crane sat perched atop 159th Street, while a La Grange 550 Ton Crane nestled down below straddling the highway’s median. Traffic Control being the most continuous and challenging project obstacle, each beam was removed and replaced in fifteen-minute intervals overnight, where traffic was halted to a complete stop.
The next phase of the 159th Street Bridge Reconstruction begins in April 2019. The team is set to reconvene and perform a mirrored double crane pick that will bring this project one step closer to completed.
Not one of the Move Illinois: Driving The Future projects gets off the ground without the 1.6 million vehicles that merge, pass, pay, and exit on a daily basis.
So, on behalf of the Illinois Tollway, thank you for your contribution.