Bird's eye view of the Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River. Each year, state transportation projects are celebrated and recognized through America's Transportation Awards – and an Illinois bridge came home as a winner. The awards recognize America's best transportation projects – those that prioritize safety, maximize accessibility, utilize resources effectively and incorporate innovative elements such as green space, bike paths, technology and access to public transit.

Last month, judges for the 2022 Midwest Region awards announced that the Interstate 74 Corridor Project, which connects Iowa to Illinois via a multi-use bridge over the Mississippi River, won top honors in the Quality of Life and Community Development category.

For this project, the Illinois and Iowa Departments of Transportation teamed up to take on the task of upgrading the 86-year-old bridge, which was in need of repair. The project was completed and fully opened to traffic on Dec. 2, 2021, and now carries nearly half of all traffic in the Quad Cities region. It was the biggest construction project in the cities' history, with a budget of $981 million.

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23275 IDOT Ash Street underpass photo1It’s no secret that cities are better when they’re efficient and less divided. One infrastructure project in Springfield that attempts to increase efficiency and bring neighborhoods together was recognized by the American Public Work Association.

On Monday, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the APWA had selected the Ash Street underpass in Springfield as one of its “Project of the Year.” This award recognizes achievement in management and administration of public works projects across the United States.

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Illinois roadsA new study shows that young Illinoisans are some of the best teenage drivers in the nation. According to financial writer Adam McCann and WalletHub’s research, Illinois has been ranked 9th in the nation for teen driver safety. Rankings are based on several criteria, including teen driver fatality rates, average cost of car repairs and the presence of impaired driving laws.

The report suggests that Illinois driving laws, which WalletHub ranks 6th in the nation, are one of the main causes for the state’s high ranking. A few important tips to keep in mind according to the experts from the study include, keeping night driving to a minimum, simple incentives for safe driving and avoid using any sort of device while behind the wheel. Click here for more information.

 

IHC Kenny Lake Shore Drive I 55 3 752x400The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has earned the Grand Prize in the 2018 America’s Transportation Awards, the top honor for state departments of transportation. The award was presented to IDOT at the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials annual meeting in Atlanta this week.   

IDOT’s Interstate 55-Lake Shore Drive interchange took the top prize in the “Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium Project,” prize for its use of a temporary bridge to accommodate inbound I-55 traffic to southbound Lake Shore Drive.

“We are proud to bring this award home to Illinois for the first time,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said in a press release. “The innovation that made this project stand out represents IDOT’s enthusiasm and commitment for creating and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system for travelers statewide. Our employees strive to find creative solutions each and every day in everything they do to keep Illinois moving.”

The project saves the public countless hours of delays by avoiding extended closures and detours during the reconstruction. It also increases safety, reduces congestion and connects a major interstate and an urban expressway near some of Chicago’s most popular recreational and educational destinations, according to IDOT.

The 2018 competition attracted 79 project nominations from state departments of transportation in 35 states. An independent panel of industry judges selected the Grand Prize winner, while the project receiving the highest number of online votes earned the Socrata People's Choice Award.

The award also included a $10,000 cash prize for a local nonprofit organization, which IDOT will give to the Special Olympics.

MidwayO’Hare and Midway international airports will now provide free unlimited wireless internet for the first time to all travelers.

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced this week that the state’s two major airports will offer free Wi-Fi service with streaming capability, replacing time-based free Wi-Fi sessions at all locations in the airports.

CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans said in a statement the new service is being offered to enhance the passenger experience and to highlight efforts to modernize the Chicago airports.

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