CN over I-190

Canadian National Railroad | Chicago, IL
railroad bridge over interstate

In order to expand their North Central Commuter Service, Metra required a third track across I-190 and a reconfiguration of Junction 19, a significant rail traffic control point that was located at the I-190 overpass in Chicago, IL. Concurrent with Metra’s North Central Service expansion, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) planned a significant reconstruction of I-190.

Benesch was enlisted by the Canadian National Railroad (CN) for design and construction management services that would meet the needs of CN, Metra and IDOT, as well as assist CN in securing an agreement with IDOT to fund the design and construction of this new three-span bridge.

The first part of this complicated project involved the design of multiple bridge concepts and the preparation of contract documents for track, bridge and water transmission pipelines. Benesch coordinated with multiple stakeholders for Metra to secure permanent easements for the relocation of main tracks—an important component in order to facilitate maintenance of rail traffic to allow both freight and commuter rail traffic to continue to operate during construction.

As construction manager, Benesch’s role involved reviewing the contractor’s shop drawings; providing a full-time and on-site resident engineer and inspectors for construction observation services; and extensive coordination with IDOT, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA), CN, Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for several track and lane closures throughout different stages of construction.

I-190 is the only access road into O’Hare International Airport. This posed challenges as maintaining an acceptable flow of traffic on I-190 was critical to the traveling public and to normal operations at O’Hare International Airport. Allowing lane closures only at night helped address this problem. Through effective construction staging and coordination, the project was accomplished on schedule and within budget.

Practice Areas


  • 2009, IL Award of Merit, American Council of Engineering Companies