For IDOT, the Ardmore EDI Joint Venture is providing Phase III Engineering services for the reconstruction of Interstate 55 (the Stevenson Expressway) from Lake Shore Drive (US Route 41) to I-94 (Dan Ryan) in the City of Chicago. At its eastern terminus I-55 links into Lake Shore Drive via several ramps and bridges; this urban expressway, neighbor to McCormick Place and Soldier Field, connects the neighborhoods and the lakefront from the south to the Central Business District and the Loop to the north. The project limits along I-55 include the structure and approach roadways extending from approximately Prairie Avenue spanning over Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the Illinois Central (IC) Railroad/METRA Electric tracks to Lake Shore Drive. The improvement limits along Lake Shore Drive extend from approximately 23rd Street near Soldier Field to approximately 1000’ north of 31st Street. The total project length including the six bridge structures is approximately 5,869’ (1.1 miles) long.
The project work includes six new bridge structures, six retaining walls, installation of curb and gutter, modifications to drainage structures, and relocation of light poles and signs. Work also includes upgrades/additions to surveillance equipment. Several green initiatives are anticipated for use on this project including but not limited to the use of recycled aggregates, protection of natural habitat through the use of a well-defined storm water pollution prevention plan, erosion control measures as allowed within the project limits.
The methods of construction and temporary traffic control for this project are limited by the fact that all of the interchange ramps are currently on structure. Ardmore is coordinating with METRA on the relocation of utilities. Work is being completed in stages with some new bridges being built on new alignments to allow the current flow of traffic to remain the same. There will be some short term detours needed during beam erection and connections of the newly constructed structures.