Serving as general engineering consultant since 2017, WSP will continue to lead digital design delivery for Illinois Tollway over the next five years.
CHICAGO — WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, will continue as the general engineering consultant for Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (Illinois Tollway) through 2026.
WSP signed a new five-year contract to serve as the Illinois Tollway’s required consulting engineer, supporting the Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future program, a 15-year, $14 billion initiative to ensure the system is in good condition and maintain its reputation as an industry leader in transportation and tolling design and construction.
The Illinois Tollway operates five toll roads throughout 12 counties in Northern Illinois, connecting three international airports, the nation’s second largest rail network, inland ports and seven interstates.
“The Illinois Tollway has long been a crucial economic driver for Northern Illinois and the Chicago region, which demands a robust network of highways that can support and adapt to motorist needs in the region,” said Jeff Heilstedt, market leader, highway/bridge and tolling at WSP. “We have been honored to serve the authority as general engineering consultant since 2017 and are grateful WSP has the opportunity to continue to lead the Illinois Tollway’s commitment of innovation with forward-thinking design advancements over the next five years.”
The Illinois Tollway provides and promotes a safe and efficient system of highways while ensuring the highest possible level of service to its customers. One way WSP supports this mission is through a first-of-its-kind constant slope barrier system that raised safety standards, new temporary concrete barriers, and other significant highway and tolling design advancements.
Using a design developed by WSP, the Illinois Tollway was the first transportation agency in the U.S. to deliver a major advancement in highway safety by successfully designing and crash testing a barrier-mounted noise abatement wall that meets the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware Test-Level 5 criteria. This design provides critical safety benefits to motorists, roadside workers and first responders. It accommodates wider and safer shoulder space for disabled vehicles, reduces risk of rollover accidents, shortens accident cleanup time and reduces risk of secondary accidents.
WSP also led the Illinois Tollway’s efforts to develop a design to meet the newest Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware Test-Level 3 temporary concrete barrier wall, which will significantly reduce deflection when impacted, improve safety for highway workers and drivers, and provide more useable work area for construction activities.
Design practices like building information modeling (BIM), which creates a wholistic approach to design for a shared, digital representation of an asset throughout a project’s life cycle, are transforming the way the Illinois Tollway delivers projects to customers by improving collaboration between design, construction and community stakeholders. BIM design practices represent a dramatic advancement in engineering technology that efficiently create and execute a complete, high-quality digital footprint of the Illinois Tollway. WSP’s efforts today are preparing the Illinois Tollway for the digital delivery models of tomorrow.