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ACEC Engineering Excellence 2017: Fox River Bridge, Illinois

Posted by Infra on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

2017 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards

The following project is among 162 engineering achievements from throughout the nation and the world being recognized by ACEC as the year’s finest examples of engineering excellence. Each will be honored at the upcoming 50th Anniversary, ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. 

The Chicago, Ill.-based joint venture of Stanley Consultants, Inc., and Chastain/Thomas has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 50th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the Fox River Bridge in Elgin, Ill.

Two unusual design and construction methods were used to remove the aging six-lane twin bridge and build a new eight-lane twin bridge in the same location, all while simultaneously keeping six lanes of traffic open. The substructure of the new bridge was constructed underneath the existing structure, an unusual “bridge-under-bridge” design made possible by the new beams’ longer and deeper size. This approach also reduced the number of piers and expansion joints for the new structure.

Due to the close proximity of a rare forested fen, a gantry system was used instead of a large crane to place the massive 2,000-pound deck beams. Combined with the use of stainless steel deck reinforcement, the new bridge is expected to have a service life of between 75 to 100 years, yet cost substantially less to maintain than the structure it replaced. In addition to improving safety and capacity, the project provides a valuable case study for engineers tackling similar bridge replacement challenges.

Fox River Bridge, Illinois

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