Illinois Tollway Highlights Improvements to the Multimodal Transportation Network in Northern Illinois 


The Illinois Tollway is doing its part to advance the state’s reputation as the nation’s most important transportation hub. 

At the annual Illinois Transportation and Highway Engineering Conference in Champaign, Tollway staff highlighted continued investments in strengthening a multimodal transportation network in Northern Illinois and the use of technology and innovation to deliver improvements. 

The conference, hosted by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, attracts more than 1,000 transportation engineers, officials, technicians and academics from the region. 

Tollway projects serve the many ways people and goods move through Illinois. The Tollway works in collaboration with other transportation and transit agencies and private industry to improve access to airports, meet growing demands in rail freight, accommodate transit and improve recreational trails that connect people and communities. 

Work highlighted by Tollway staff included the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Bridge over the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), the Prairie Path Underpass on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), as well as the partnership between the Tollway and Pace Suburban Bus to accommodate transit on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).

Tollway presentations emphasized how the agency uses innovation and technology to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and improve safety. 

The Tollway featured prominently in a workshop on 3D Plan Development/Paperless Document Delivery to talk about how it’s implementing building information modeling – or BIM – technologies to create 3D models of projects and then integrating the digital files through the entire lifecycle of a project, from planning, design and construction to asset management processes.

The Tollway also demonstrated how innovation extends throughout the agency with a presentation on its Roadway Electric Training System, which was designed by veteran roadway lighting technicians to provide a more efficient, effective way to train probationary technicians. The system was named one of the winners of the Federal Highway Administration’s 2021 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition – the first time an Illinois project has been selected as a winner since the competition began in 2009.