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Illinois infrastructure projects, engineering firms garner national recognition

Included: 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

For their uniqueness, originality, technical innovation and social and economic value, eight Illinois infrastructure projects and the engineering firms behind their construction have been selected for honor at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA).

Known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry,” nomination for the awards took place in March and adjudication was conducted by a national 27-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia.

Leading the pack of winners from Illinois with the Grand Award is the I-74 Corridor Over the Mississippi River, a one-billion-dollar complex, mega-project borne out of the need for increased capacity and structural improvements along a 7.8-mile stretch of I-74 in the Quad Cities (IL/IA) that was designed and constructed by Benesch & Modjeski and Masters for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Iowa DOT. The Jane Bryne Interchange, a testament to engineering and transportation innovation which was reconstructed by AECOM and TranSystems as a joint venture for IDOT will receive the Honor Award for its capacity to reduce highway congestion that plagues Chicago, a national transportation hub with large amounts of vehicular, rail and freight traffic.

Six other Illinois infrastructure projects and engineering firms were named winners in the National Recognition Award category.

They are 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.”

“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 interchange and bridge projects recently delivered by these engineering and construction partners for the Tollway and IDOT are well deserving of this national recognition, “said Cassaundra Rouse, Executive Director, Illinois Tollway. “This recognition highlights the critical infrastructure improvements that we are working with industry to deliver and illustrates our commitment to ensure safe travel, improve mobility and advance job growth and economic development opportunities that support our state’s economy.”

The winning projects are among the 179 world-class EEA entries for the awards, representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and 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 outstanding achievements at a ceremony to be held on June 13 in Washington, D.C.

About the American Council of Engineering Companies
Representing hundreds of companies, they are the voice of the engineering industry in Illinois. With roots dating back more than 100 years, ACEC Illinois represents more than 11,000 engineers, architects, land surveyors and other specialists. Their primary mission is to strengthen the business environment for its member firms through government advocacy, political action, and business education. For more information, visit


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