Tollway Offers Students Lesson in Road Building 101
Imagine the Illinois Tollway rebuilt entirely as one big rollercoaster!
One student at Meadow Glens Elementary School in Naperville asked if that was possible during a presentation by Tollway Project Manager Rick Hanba on how roads are built.
“We’ll get on that right now,” chuckled Hanba, recalling countless hours spent in his youth riding rollercoasters at Cedar Point and Kings Island amusement parks in Ohio.
Hanba, a Tollway project manager since 2014, joined a virtual speaker series highlighting innovations and scientific applications related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at Meadow Glens Elementary.
He talked to students in kindergarten through fifth grade about the fundamentals of how to build a road, from planning and construction to community outreach – a process that requires research, teamwork and great listening skills.
“The roads your family drives on to get from place to place – I help build,” said Hanba, who works on a wide range of Tollway road, bridge and building projects, including the Pace transit station at the Barrington Road Interchange on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and reconstruction of Tollway maintenance facilities systemwide.
Nearly 40 households attended the presentation, with students joined by parents and siblings. Students asked Hanba questions and learned more about how the Tollway determines how big to build a road, how long it takes and how long a road will last.
Meadow Glens Elementary invited the Illinois Tollway to participate in its annual STEM Night, bringing together regional science and technology companies and organizations to help students and their families understand the real-world context of STEM activities.