Illinois Tollway brings to life engineering for high school pre-engineering students
Area high school seniors recently visited several construction sites on the Illinois Tollway system to gain real-world knowledge of what it takes to build roads and bridges.
“This is another way for us to engage the next generation of engineering and transportation industry professionals,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse, who met with students at the Mile Long Bridge Project on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294). “This and future construction site visits provide high school engineering teachers throughout Northern Illinois with the opportunity to bring to life the concepts they’re teaching in their classrooms,” Rouse said.
The first such site visits, held on October 25, were with groups of pre-engineering students from Argo Community High School in Summit and Thornridge High School in Dolton. These are students currently taking such classes as advanced placement calculus and AutoCAD.
On I-294, students visited the recently completed Mile Long Bridge Project and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Bridge Project and on the I-490 Tollway they toured the ongoing I-490/I-90 Interchange Project.
They met with Executive Director Rouse and other Tollway leadership, as well as project managers, to learn the ins and outs of major civil engineering projects. Students were giving the chance to see project plans, ask questions and get a better understanding of some of the biggest, most complex projects in the region.
“Site visits are highly effective because it’s important for young engineers to have a greater awareness of an actual construction site and its surroundings to develop the most effective solutions,” said Acting Chief Engineering Officer Manar Nashif. “Site visits provide students the opportunity to observe, reflect and comprehend real-world situations while gaining insights from some of the best civil engineers in the business.”