Open Road Tolling Plazas

Open Road Tolling Plazas

Location: Illinois — multiple sites

Client: Illinois Tollway

Burns & McDonnell assisted the Illinois Tollway in the program management for converting 20 mainline plazas to Open Road Tolling (ORT). Plazas equipped for Open Road Tolling are capable of collecting tolls electronically while vehicles pass at posted highway speeds. This allows non-stop travel through the collection area for cars and trucks containing a prepaid electronic I-PASS or E-Z PASS transponder. Motorists paying with cash exit off the mainline to a more traditional tollbooth collection area. The Open Road Tolling program has eased highway congestion at plazas by separating the non-stop transponder users from the decelerating cash users. It also adds extra incentive for transponder users of non-stop travel across the entire 274-mile network of the Illinois Tollway.

Burns & McDonnell managed nine design consultants in the preparation of 27 construction contracts, including three materials procurement contracts, four advance work contracts, two post-ORT contracts and 16 plaza improvement contracts. Burns & McDonnell also coordinated design and stage construction issues between the designers, the Tollway staff, outside agencies and the eleven construction manager consultants of the Open Road Tolling program. One key component in the program management was to complete ORT implementation within 20 months of program inception, all while maintaining toll collection at the plazas. Plaza modifications added two, three or four lanes for Open Road Tolling to match the number of mainline lanes approaching/departing the plaza.

BenchMark article: Just Passing Through

Feature story: Open Road Tolling spells instant relief for Chicago and suburbs

When the Tollway inaugurated the Open Road Tolling program, they hired Burns & McDonnell to assist the Tollway in managing the program. The Open Road Tolling Project Management team (ORT-PM) developed new standards, criteria and procedures for the rapid development of contract plans and specifications.

Burns & McDonnell and its partner firms were also responsible for establishing and managing the program budget; scheduling plan submittals and reviews; and monitoring overall implementation during construction.

  • Complete reconstruction of nine mainline toll plazas
  • Major retrofits to 11 mainline plazas
  • Development of concept master plans for all 20 plazas in four months
  • Administration of design contracts for nine design consultants
  • Development of completely new standards for plaza control buildings, automatic toll collection, plaza canopies and access bridges
  • Implementation of project, systemwide, in only 20 months