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Chicago Skyway Viaducts and Calumet River Bridge

Chicago, Illinois

Market Sector

Bridge, Surface Transportation


Truss, Construction

Services Provided

Construction Management



T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) was selected by the City of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to provide Construction Engineering Services for the reconstruction of Calumet River Bridge, 100th Street Viaduct, and the westbound portion of the Commercial Avenue Viaduct. Services included construction inspection, contract administration, coordination, and material quality assurance testing.

The Calumet River Bridge is a 1,300 foot suspended cantilevered through-truss bridge spanning over the Calumet River. Both the 100th Street and Commercial Avenue Viaducts with a combined length of 4000 feet consist of multiple spans, steel truss structures and act as approaches both south and north of the Calumet River Bridge.
The purpose of the project was to improve the bridge and viaducts condition and load rating by rehabilitating both the superstructure and substructure. The superstructure rehabilitation included replacement and repairs for stringers, plate girder, truss floor beams and deck trusses. This work required jacking of the existing structure. The substructure work included replacing existing steel bents with concrete piers. This work required the erection of 100-foot temporary shoring towers. The project included replacing the existing deck with a High Performance Concrete bridge deck with new drainage and roadway lighting system.

TYLI provided field staffs that were responsible for coordinating of shop drawing review; monitoring traffic control; verifying contractor’s layout; preparing required documentation; verifying quantities; field inspection of materials; and coordinating material testing, all in accordance with CDOT procedural guidelines. Other responsibilities included conducting weekly progress meetings, monitoring Contractor’s schedule, preparation of field orders, letters and contract modifications.

Project Challenges

TYLI worked with the contractor to develop load transfer procedures and monitoring plans for the complex superstructure load transfer operations and member replacements. All temporary jacking and shoring procedures were required to be executed during off-peak hours in a 15-minute window, and remain in place during full traffic loading to minimize closures of the Skyway.

A movable barrier system was used to maximize the efficiency of the three available traffic lanes. During the construction period, 2.5 miles of barrier were moved twice a day as part of a contra-lane design that allowed two of the three traffic lanes to carry rush hour traffic into and out of the City. The entire switchover process took only 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

Honor Award, 2006
American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL)