collage image of pictures from Benesch's history, featuring employees from the last 75 years

Our Legacy

Benesch started with just a handful of exceptionally bright engineers. Since then, we’ve grown into a nationally recognized team of more than 1,000 professionals.

photo of Mr. Benesch and Mr. Sandberg meeting Chicago's Mayor

Building a Legacy

Since our founding on February 2, 1946, Benesch has grown from a single small office in downtown Chicago to a multidisciplinary firm with offices across the country.

From the beginning, our founder Mr. Alfred Benesch understood the importance of bringing together a conglomeration of experts with different perspectives, backgrounds and skillsets. This led him–and all the leaders that followed–to continually seek out expertise that enables the firm to expand our service offerings and better serve our clients.

As a result, the firm has grown and prospered. Today, Engineering News Record places Benesch among the Top 500 Design Firms in the country.

Committed to Our Clients

In the early years of our company’s history, Mr. Benesch was constantly in search of opportunities to improve his study and practice of engineering. That pursuit took him across the globe, always learning and meeting new people along the way. Through those experiences, he came to the conclusion that in order to be successful in his venture, he would adhere to and root his business in the following three major principles:

  • Produce top quality work.
  • Treat all people fairly, placing great emphasis on being helpful.
  • Always to live up to your promises and to your client’s expectations.

As our firm has expanded, we remain committed to delivering this client-focused experience characteristic of smaller, more agile companies. As a mid-sized firm, we take pride in providing an unparalleled level of customer service, regardless of project size or complexity. At Benesch, our clients are never just a number–and we remain laser focused on surpassing expectations.

Market Street Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA

Our Value-Focused Approach

Our focus on Value Engineering differentiates us as a firm fully dedicated to value-focused solutions. Weaving value engineering concepts into our daily work over the years has not only led to the development of our Value Methodology program, but it has propelled the practice forward across the industry.

Today, Benesch is well known for our Value Methodology expertise. With it, we’ve helped countless clients identify innovative solutions for their biggest engineering challenges while shortening construction schedules, strengthening stakeholder acceptance and saving anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars on projects of all sizes.

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Innovative Infrastructure Solutions

We have a decades-long track record for developing highly innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges. From planning and design to construction management, our work has been recognized by industry organizations across the country, including receiving the highest possible accolades from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

aerial view of the completed diverging diamond interchange carrying Weber Road over I-55 in Will County, IL
A new Diverging Diamond Interchange was constructed at I-55 and Weber Road to address major capacity issues and rapid growth in Will County, IL. Benesch managed the construction of this transformative improvement project, which involved a highly complex traffic staging plan to transition drivers to the new pattern. The project received the Lincoln Grand Conceptor from ACEC-IL in 2024.
aerial image of the completed Lincoln South Beltway, showing the Saltillo roundabouts
The $350 million Lincoln South Beltway provided a much-needed east-west connection around the south side of Lincoln, Nebraska. Boasting two system interchanges, three service interchanges, 43 miles of roadway alignments, 23 bridges and 11 roundabouts, the project was the Nebraska DOT’s largest ever project at the time of its construction. The Benesch-designed beltway received the ACEC-NE Grand Award in 2024.
aerial photo of temporary roadway built to replace a collapsed bridge on I-95 in Philadelphia
Following the partial collapse of a critical section of I-95 in Philadelphia, Benesch led the development of an emergency replacement design as part of a design-build delivery team. Utilizing several innovative materials, a temporary roadway was constructed and three lanes of traffic were restored in each direction in just 12 days. Months later, the project received the 2024 Grand Conceptor Diamond Award from ACEC/PA.
A photo from above of the two I-74 Mississippi River Bridge with car traffic
$1.2 billion-dollar I-74 Corridor over the Mississippi River successfully increased capacity and provided structural improvements along the Quad Cities in Illinois and Iowa. Benesch served as Corridor-Wide Coordinator and led design plans for the extended Central Sections of the project, which included the substructures that support the twin arch superstructure. It won the ACEC National Grand Award in 2023.
Aerial view of Chicago Riverwalk
Connecting Chicago’s lakefront to the West Loop, the Chicago Riverwalk enhances the cultural, environmental, economical and recreational aspects that the Chicago River has to offer. Benesch served as lead structural designer and construction manager for the overall project and led extensive hydraulic analysis. ACEC-IL presented the project with the Eminent Conceptor Award in 2018.
flyover railroad bridge
Benesch managed the construction of the new 10-span flyover and PPC deck beam approach bridges to eliminate an at-grade crossing of the existing Metra Rock Island District Line and Norfolk Southern Railroad over I-90/94. The highly complex project involved extensive coordination with state and local agencies to construct the flyover across the busy Dan Ryan Expressway and received the ACEC National Honor Award in 2017.
The $75 million Wacker Drive/Congress Avenue Interchange reconstruction project improved one of Chicago’s busiest interchanges. Benesch oversaw the demolition of the existing interchange roadways and tunnels, the rehabilitation of the existing foundation, deck and beam replacement, widening of the Congress Parkway fixed spans and more. It received the National Grand Conceptor Award from ACEC in 2014.
Aerial view photo of bridge over Stearns road in Illinois
The Stearns Road Corridor project addressed rapid growth and high traffic demands—all while enhancing the surrounding natural environment. Benesch provided preliminary and final design and construction and corridor management for the five-mile project which blended new roadway, bridges and pedestrian and railroad infrastructure with restored wetlands, savannah and other green spaces. The corridor received ACEC-IL’s Eminent Conceptor Award in 2011.
river bridge
After conducting a Value Planning Study to weigh options for improving a section of I-74, Benesch developed an innovative solution: shorten the nearby Murray Baker Bridge via a custom-designed load transfer device to make way for the needed interchange improvements. This shortening of an existing cantilever truss was an industry first and received the ACEC-IL Eminent Conceptor Award in 2009.
view of construction on Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, taken from across the river
This $200 million Wacker Drive Reconstruction consisted of the reconstruction of Chicago’s iconic double-decker viaduct originally built in 1926. Benesch provided overall construction management for this highly complex project which preserved the architectural tradition and historical elements of the past while meeting the infrastructure needs of the future. It received the ACEC-IL Eminent Conceptor Award in 2004.
aeria view of the tied arch bridge carrying I-255 over the Mississippi River
Benesch designed a new twin tied arch structure to replace its failing steel truss predecessor. Unique I-shaped girders and a streamlined design simplified the bridge’s connection detail and fabrication while reducing secondary stress potential. Noted for its significant aesthetic enhancements and projected structural longevity, the 4,000-foot, 15-span bridge received the ACEC-IL Eminent Conceptor Award in 1992.
An innovative structural framing system brought together unique structure types at 10 & 30 South Wacker, where two skyscrapers cantilever over a low-rise building below. Sitting atop the largest column-free trading facility in the world at the time of its construction, the skyscrapers were the first in Chicago to be constructed entirely of concrete. The project received the ACEC-IL Eminent Conceptor Award in 1984.
Two Benesch employees looking at a 3D model of a railroad yard in OpenRoads

Dedicated Investment in Technology

Benesch purchased its first computer–the Bendix G15–in the 1960s and was one of the first engineering firms in the country to implement automated design processes. Many of our staff became active in the development of computer programs to facilitate the design of buildings, bridges, highways and more.

Today, we continue to explore the latest computer innovations and seek out opportunities to partner with leading industry software and technology companies. We train our staff on the latest 3D design tools and we pilot new technologies that can improve the ways we collect data in the field, assess existing infrastructure and enhance design workflows.

Photo of Benesch's construction manager in the field

Ever-Expanding Expertise

A strategic effort to diversify our firm, both in terms of expertise and geographic footprint, has guided our continued growth. We leverage the specialized skills of our local teams to develop solutions for clients across the country, creating greater opportunities to workshare across divisions and provide best in class service.

While we got our start as a structural design firm specializing in transportation, today our work can be found everywhere—from airports to parks, local roadway corridors, schools, major highway systems and private developments of all kinds, our multidisciplinary team is ready for any project, big or small.

See What We Can Do