The Illinois Department of Transportation has received a national prize for its innovative fix for a Chicago highway interchange plagued with traffic congestion.
The recently completed $135 million Interstate 55-Lake Shore Drive interchange project earned the Grand Prize in the 2018 America’s Transportation Awards, the top honor for state departments of transportation.
The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, which presented the award, said IDOT’s project has increased safety, reduced congestion and cut drive times. The creative use of a temporary bridge during construction kept traffic moving and cut the project time by a third, according to an AASHTO spokesperson.
The project was selected from a field of 79 nominations from 35 states.
“Transportation is what makes Illinois stand out from the rest of the country and this award once again confirms that,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “Investing in infrastructures promotes economic growth and improves quality of life. This project strengthens our status as the country’s transportation hub, but also helps to recognize the hard work of our employees at IDOT to provide top-notch service to the people of Illinois.”
The award includes a $10,000 cash prize for a local nonprofit organization.
IDOT said the price money will be given to the Special Olympics. The event debuted 50 years ago at Soldier Field, which is just north of the interchange.