The new I-74 bridge is an engineering marvel and it’s being recognized on a national level for its excellence.

Several Illinois infrastructure projects and the engineering firms that created them have been chosen for honors at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) in June in Washington, D.C. The EEAs are considered to be the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry.” Nominations took place in March and adjudication was conducted by a national 27-member panel of built environment leaders and experts from government, the media and academia.

The I-74 Corridor Over the Mississippi River was named the Grand Award winner by the EEAs. The $1 billion complex, mega-project was built to accommodate increased capacity and structural improvements along a 7.8-mile stretch of I-74 in the Quad Cities. It was designed and constructed by Benesch & Modjeski and Masters for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Iowa DOT.

“The commitment of state agencies and Illinois engineers to the development, maintenance and modernization of our state’s road and transportation infrastructure has always been exceptional,” said Omer Osman, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation. “We are proud and delighted that many of the transformative projects across our state have been selected for honor on the national stage and we look forward to celebrating with all the winners.”

The Jane Bryne Interchange, which was reconstructed by AECOM and TranSystems as a joint venture for IDOT will receive the Honor Award for its ability to reduce highway congestion in Chicago, a national transportation hub that deals with substantial amounts of vehicular, rail and freight traffic daily.

Other Illinois infrastructure projects and engineering firms were named as winners in the National Recognition Award category. They include:

  • The Gantry Erection for the Mile Long Bridge on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) constructed by Collins Engineers Inc. for the Illinois Tollway as part of the $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway Project;
  • Lakefront Trail Widening at DLSD Bascule Bridge completed by WSP USA for Chicago DOT’s Division of Engineering to encourage non-motorized travel for Chicago residents and visitors and connect the downtown center and riverwalk with Navy Pier;
  • The Wells/Wentworth Connector – Section 3 improvements completed by WSP USA for the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), that creates a new road between Chicago’s Loop and Chinatown;
  • The I-294/I-57 Interchange, Phase 2 constructed by T.Y. Lin International Great Lakes Inc. and Wight & Company for the Illinois Tollway to help adjacent communities in the region to attract new development and support existing businesses;
  • Phillips 66 Dock Lines Replacements completed by Farnsworth Group Inc. for Phillips 66, WRB Refining LP to help transport hydrocarbons to and from the Wood River Refinery and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) BNSF Railway Bridge constructed by Gannett Fleming, TranSystems Corp., and HR Green for the Illinois Tollway.

“The bipartisan ReBuild Illinois capital plan and the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) have breathed new life into infrastructural development across Illinois and our engineers are working daily with our partners on projects that deliver social and economic value to communities across the state,” said Kevin Artl, president and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois. “The selection of eight world-class projects from Illinois for national honor demonstrates the innovation, skills and outstanding performance of our designers and engineers. Congratulations to our public and private partners and the engineering companies who have made this achievement possible.” 

These projects are among the 179 EEA entries for the awards and represent engineering excellence from across the country and around the world. Award criteria focused on originality, technical innovation, social and economic value and generating excitement for the engineering profession. The projects and engineering companies will be honored for their achievements at a ceremony to be held on June 13 in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the American Council of Engineering Companies, click here.