American Society of Civil Engineers Recognizes Illinois Tollway for Innovations in Sustainability

Scheduled to open this fall, the Illinois Tollway’s new maintenance facility in Aurora is already earning accolades from the statewide engineering community for its numerous sustainable features. 

The American Society of Civil Engineers, Illinois Section, selected the Tollway’s new Aurora maintenance facility as the winner of its Sustainability in Civil Engineering Achievement Award. The Tollway’s $40.5 million, 95,000-square-foot maintenance facility was built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification standards for sustainable design and construction. 

“The Aurora maintenance facility is an excellent example of innovative in sustainable planning, design, construction and operations,” said ASCE Illinois President Brian Pawula. “ASCE Illinois applauds the Illinois Tollway for taking a bold approach to building its new maintenance facilities, applying a wide range of sustainable elements that can be applied to future civil engineering projects.” 

ASCE Illinois presents the Sustainability in Civil Engineering Achievement Award annually for civil engineering projects that exhibit the greatest innovations in sustainability and demonstrate adherence to the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability. The award recognizes engineering innovations that extend future developments in sustainability and projects that extend the public understanding of sustainability in design and construction.

The new Aurora maintenance facility is located on a 19-acre site adjacent to the Aurora Toll Plaza and operates 24/7 to serve the roadway needs of the eastern segment of the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), from a little west of Aurora to the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). The new facility replaces the original facility in Naperville, which had exceeded its life expectancy since it was built in 1958 and could no longer support the services required for modern roadway maintenance operations.

The Illinois Tollway is taking advantage of this opportunity to apply best practices in design and construction to build more efficient, sustainable and environmentally responsible maintenance facilities across its system in Northern Illinois. 

The new Aurora maintenance facility is designed to more efficiently and effectively deliver critical roadway services to the motoring public and features numerous sustainable features to achieve LEED status, including:
•    Refueling equipment for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as electric vehicle charging stations 
•    Installation of white thermoplastic polyolefin roofing and low-reflectivity concrete pavement to reduce the “heat island” effect
•    LED electronically programed exterior lighting and self-adjusting interior occupancy lighting to reduce light pollution 
•    Geofoam installation for ground stabilization and reduced loading
•    Photovoltaic panels to feed power back into the grid, making the Aurora maintenance facility approximately 44 percent more efficient than a facility of similar size and function 
•    Skylights and punched openings in the pre-cast wall panels use translucent, insulating glass and polycarbonate panels to provide abundant natural lighting and reduce the need for interior lighting during daylight hours. 
•    In-floor hydronic radiant heat and overhead natural gas radiant heat, along with installation of low-flow fixtures, further reduce energy and water costs

The Aurora maintenance facility includes the Tollway’s first permanent, high-production brine-making equipment to assist with snow and ice control. It also features a storm water management system to improve the quality of storm water discharge before it reaches nearby waterways, including the Fox River, which is located half a mile west of the site and serves as a source of drinking water for residents and businesses in major cities such as Aurora and Elgin and many other communities in Kane and Cook counties.

“The Illinois Tollway applied numerous sustainable innovations to deliver this new, environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing maintenance facility to meet the current and future needs of our customers for the next 50 years,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “Like all our newly reconstructed or rehabilitated maintenance sites, the Aurora facility meets LEED certification standards for sustainable design and construction, demonstrating the Tollway’s commitment to delivering innovations in sustainability.”  

More details about the new Aurora maintenance facility can be found here

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