CHICAGO, IL – The I-74 Corridor over the Mississippi River has received the American Council of Civil Engineering of Illinois’ highest honor – the Lincoln’s Grand Conceptor Award. The award recognizes the iconic project for its engineering achievement and future value to the profession.
“Winning this award is an incredible honor and one that so many people from Benesch should be proud of,” said Illinois Division Manager Andrew Keaschall. “It took a large team to deliver this project, and the ability to work together and collaborate made the process so enjoyable. To be recognized with one of the highest statewide awards in our profession is an honor that will be remembered by many of us for our entire career.”
Benesch has played a significant role in this $1 billion interstate corridor improvement project since 2009, serving as corridor-wide design manager and engineer of record for many portions of the corridor on behalf of the Iowa and Illinois DOTs. This project included a new Mississippi River crossing, improvements to six existing service interchanges, enhancements to the connecting arterial roadway system, and improvements to the bicycle/pedestrian and intermodal connections.
Benesch led design plans for the extended Central Sections of the project, which included the substructures that support the twin arch superstructure (designed by Modjeski & Masters, who also designed the original suspension bridges) as well as the approach span superstructures and substructures at either end of the bridge. Benesch was also responsible for the design of the expanded highway and interchanges on the Iowa side and south section on the Illinois side and the entire interstate corridor lighting including overseeing the design of the aesthetic lighting on the river bridges. The Benesch design team included over a dozen subconsultants.
The corridor was fully functional with the opening of the Eastbound River bridge to the public in early December 2021 and has significantly improved mobility for more than 400,000 residents in the Quad Cities.
“For many years, we collectively put our hearts into this project to deliver a new I-74 corridor that will greatly improve commuter and pedestrian connectivity in the Quad Cities,” said Senior Project Manager Diane Campione. “It’s a wonderful feeling to have our efforts recognized by our peers in the engineering community.”
I-74 was selected from the Honor Award winners by a panel of judges. This is the ninth time Benesch has earned this award (previously called the Eminent Conceptor Award). Past winning projects include the Chicago Riverwalk, the Englewood Flyover, Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway, Stearns Road Corridor, Murray Baker Bridge Truss Shortening, Wacker Drive Reconstruction, I-255 over the Mississippi River, and 10 & 30 South Wacker.
The I-74 project will contend for the ACEC National Grand Conceptor Award later this year.