Waukegan Toll Plaza (Plaza 21)

Waukegan Toll Plaza (Plaza 21)

Location: Wadsworth/Gurnee, Ill.

Client: Illinois Tollway

Completion Date: Spring 2007

Burns & McDonnell served as the prime consultant for the design and reconstruction of the Waukegan Toll Plaza (Plaza 21) for the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. This project entailed roadway reconstruction and widening, drainage study for the preparation of a project report, and drainage and stormwater management design for the proposed replacement of the existing toll collection facility. The project involved construction of new pavement, toll gates, plaza control buildings and new open-road toll collection infrastructure.

  • Location studies
  • Drainage studies
  • Public coordination
  • Design engineering
  • Construction support

Burns & McDonnell was selected in late spring 2004 as one of the first Chicago-area consultants to work on the Illinois Tollway’s new Open Road Tolling program. Early in the design process, the program was implemented systemwide, and Burns & McDonnell was directed to complete its design in time to construct the new plaza by the end of 2006.

Burns & McDonnell reviewed 26 sites in a corridor that doubled in length over the course of the study. Sites were expected to accommodate Open Road Tolling and manual collection, minimize or eliminate traffic congestion issues and provide straightforward constructability. Sites were evaluated on all of these factors along with cost and socioeconomic impact. Burns & McDonnell provided extensive and informed support to the public coordination effort with local residents and legislators in support of proposed sites.

Following the decision to reconstruct the plaza on its existing site, Burns & McDonnell was given six months to produce bid-quality plans. Working with other Burns & McDonnell offices nationwide, the project team addressed complicated drainage design and staging issues to successfully meet the deadline. As of January 2007, extra costs attributable to plan deficiencies totalled less than 3 percent of the bid price. Staff involvement in the construction process has streamlined the RFI process and reduced delays, allowing the project to remain on time and under budget.

  • Thorough and definitive review of 26 alternate sites and configurations
  • Successful design completed under extremely tight deadlines
  • Project expected to reduce or eliminate backups at toll plaza handling more than 100,000 vehicles per day