I-55, Lake Shore Drive reconstruction competing for America’s top transportation project

Votes needed for online competition to net $10,000 for Special Olympics

information provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation

CHICAGO, Ill. (September 6, 2018) — The Interstate 55/Lake Shore Drive interchange reconstruction is a finalist in an online competition to choose the country’s top transportation project and a chance to earn $10,000 for an Illinois-based nonprofit. The Illinois Department of Transportation will donate the prize money to the local Special Olympics if the project receives the most votes.

The public is encouraged to vote early and often—individuals can vote once a day at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org, until the competition closes September 22.

Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said, “With the public’s help, we will not only bring home the award, but $10,000 for Special Olympics athletes.”

The I-55/Lake Shore Drive interchange emerged as Top 12 finalist out of the 79 projects submitted nationwide for the America’s Transportation Awards hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Socrata, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The project team at IDOT was recognized not only for rebuilding one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure in the Midwest, but also for an innovative technique that employed the use of a temporary bridge to accommodate traffic during construction, saving the public countless hours of delays by avoiding extended closures and detours. The $135 million project was completed on time and on budget last year.

The choice of the Special Olympics to share in the award is especially noteworthy. The first Special Olympics was held 50 years ago this summer at Soldier Field, which is next door to the improved interchange that enhanced access to the iconic stadium and numerous other institutions along Chicago’s lakefront.

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