Jane Byrne, Weber Road interchanges earn top honors
Press Release - Thursday, August 17, 2023
CHICAGO - The reconstruction and modernization of the Jane Byrne and Weber Road interchanges have won top honors among Midwest states in the America's Transportation Awards. Revitalization of the aged Byrne turned one of the nation's slowest, most congested highway freight bottlenecks into a thriving multimodal corridor for businesses, residences and other local attractions, while an innovative reimagining of the Weber Road interchange with a diverging-diamond design significantly improved mobility to accommodate rising traffic volumes, a population influx and a burgeoning economy.
"We pride ourselves on innovative infrastructure improvements that boost the overall quality of life for our residents," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "These awards provide welcome recognition of these efforts and help remind the public that IDOT is constantly employing new and effective ways to modernize our infrastructure and improve access for all."
One of the biggest projects in state history, reconstruction of the Byrne improved safety and mobility across the region and at the neighborhood level. The more than $800 million project involved rebuilding multiple bridges over the interchange to accommodate wider sidewalks and bike lanes. Additionally, the project transformed Peoria Street into an expansive walkway and rehabilitated the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line station - adding an elevator for customers with disabilities.
Since the Weber Road interchange opened in 1990, the surrounding population in Bolingbrook and Romeoville has nearly doubled. To accommodate the increase in traffic volume, a $96 million project focused on addressing immediate operational and safety concerns, with the centerpiece the widening of Weber Road and reconfiguring the interchange with Interstate 55 into a diverging-diamond design.
Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America's Transportation Awards recognize states for critical infrastructure work and associated economic and quality of life benefits.
"In addressing the transportation challenges of today and tomorrow, state DOTs demonstrate a strong determination to bring innovative solutions to their communities," said Jim Tymon, AASHTO's executive director. "The America's Transportation Awards serves as a testament to their endeavors. These projects play a vital role in improving safety, enhancing mobility and revitalizing transportation resources for drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit customers alike."