Milhouse Vice-President of Civil and Transportation, Stan-lee Kaderbek, broke down the challenges of widening and reconstructing a highway interchange as he presented Elmhurst Road, Lessons Learned at the 103rd Annual Transportation and Highway Engineering (THE) Conference. Along with Hope Garrett, Senior Project Engineer, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA), Kaderbek addressed the complexities, obstacles, and current status of the reconstruction of the Elmhurst Road Interchange at Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90). The project is part of the $12 billion Move Illinois Capital Program initiated in 2012.
Indeed, the Elmhurst Road project was a highly anticipated topic, as nearly 200 conference attendees filled the Design, Construction & Environment room of the Illini Student Union on Tuesday, February 28 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. provided construction management for the three contracts that comprised the interchange reconstruction. Milhouse managed the conversion of the interchange from a partial cloverleaf with access to and from the east to a diverging diamond interchange with full access.
Garrett, an expert from ISTHA, detailed logistics and anticipated challenges, such as the interchange’s location as a highly trafficked road by O’Hare Airport fueling trucks. It also serves as a daily school bus pick-up site for hundreds of students at a nearby trailer park.
Milhouse’s own Kaderbek served as the project principal. Milhouse proposed modifying the abutment design for the existing northbound bridge from a MSE type abutment to a soldier pile and tie-back wall. The change resulted in significant time savings over the other construction method and allowed the mainline work to be completed in a timely manner.
After the team overcame multiple unforeseen delays, such as utility setbacks and issues with construction coordination with mainline work, the project is currently in its final stages. “Nothing typically goes as planned,” said Kaderbek. “We’ve learned from this experience immeasurably…sometimes you need to have problems to learn and I think this was a real learning experience for all of us.”
The Elmhurst Road Interchange reconstruction is projected to be complete by November 2017 upon the completion of the divergent diamond interchange and finishing of the roadway.
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