WSP USA awarded engineering consultancy contract for Illinois Tollway system

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The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) has appointed WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, to serve as the agency’s independent consulting engineer for projects associated with the agency’s network of five tollways.

ISTHA maintains and operates 292 miles (470km) of tollways in 12 counties in northern Illinois, comprising five routes: Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-39/I-90/US 51), Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway/Chicago–Kansas City Expressway (I-88/SR 56/SR 110), Tri-State Tollway (I-80/I-94/I-294), and the Elgin-O’Hare Tollway (SR 390).

Under the 54-month contract, WSP will work on a number of current and future tollway projects planned by the authority, including: the 22 mile-long (35km) Tri-State Tollway Expansion, set to begin design in 2018; the ongoing design and construction of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project; and other projects included in the Move Illinois Capital Program.

WSP will be responsible for multiple tasks for ISTHA, including environmental reviews and assistance, plan reviews, project management, drainage and structural engineering support, and manual reviews and updates. Additional technical services will include a review of overweight permits, project control support and construction audits.

The company will also oversee annual inspections of the tollway system and facilities, and provide an annual report of the major accomplishments, state of repair, and plans for upcoming work.

WSP USA has an extensive portfolio of transportation infrastructure projects in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, and has contributed to the recent rehabilitation of the city’s Red and Blue Line transit routes, as well as the reconstruction of the Wells Street Bridge.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the Toll Authority on its critical infrastructure rehabilitation projects,” said John Trotta, senior vice president and national director of client services at WSP USA. “We look forward to supporting the agency’s capital program over the next four and a half years.”

The company is a leading consultant to the tolling industry in the USA. Earlier this week, Chris Swenson (right), an expert on tolling and mobility at WSP, delivered a presentation on the synergy between transportation funding, tolling and the emerging Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept as part of the IBTTA (International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association) 85th Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

Swenson noted, “The emerging model of MaaS, combined with alternatives developing to supplement or even replace the shrinking funding available from fuel taxes, results in exciting opportunities to develop solutions that significantly improve mobility in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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