Illinois Tollway environmental manager named among 2023 Notable Leaders in Sustainability by Crain’s Chicago Business

Illinois Tollway environmental manager named among 2023 Notable Leaders in Sustainability by Crains Chicago Business

It’s only natural that Bryan Wagner would make Crain’s Chicago Business list of Notable Leaders in Sustainability

As the environmental policy and program manager for the Illinois Tollway, he is responsible for leading numerous environmental initiatives designed to preserve and protect natural resources throughout the 12 counties in Northern Illinois served by the 294-mile Tollway system as part of the $14 billion Move Illinois capital program. 

“Congratulations to Bryan Wagner for being recognized by Crain’s for his profound impact on protecting the environment,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. “Bryan embodies the Tollway’s commitment to making environmental responsibility and sustainability part of everything we do and we are fortunate to have him as an advocate for the protection and preservation of our natural resources.” 

Bryan leads a small staff of three environmental professionals in managing a broad range of Tollway efforts related to wetland mitigation, noise mitigation, stormwater management, chloride reduction and landscaping improvements. He also coordinates agency relationships with local, state and federal regulatory agencies, facilitates partnerships with environmental advocacy organizations and enlists research institutions to support the Tollway’s Sustainability Policy. 

One example of Bryan’s recent accomplishments is ongoing tree-planting efforts as part of the Tollway’s Landscape Master Plan, which continues even after the goal was reached in late 2021 to plant the equivalent of 58,000 trees. 

Over the course of the Move Illinois Program, Bryan has directed the restoration and preservation of more than 750 acres of land, construction of nearly 70 miles of bioswales throughout the Tollway system and completion of numerous mitigation projects in partnership with local forest preserve districts. He also guides stormwater management and chloride reduction practices that have improved water quality for the region. 

When he’s not protecting the environment, Bryan focuses his spare time on volunteering at his children’s schools, coaching soccer and enjoying all the various playgrounds our natural world provides.