Traffic Remains Smooth During Major Highway Safety Upgrade

Lawson-Fisher’s project team announces another successful bridge project – fixing problems before they occur in a way that minimally disrupts commuters.

LFA was responsible for developing rehabilitation plans on a stretch of I-80/94 that needed preventative bridge maintenance. In all, nine rehabs were required between the Indiana/Illinois border and US 41 through the Hammond and Munster area. This particular segment sees more than 200,000 cars per day and is known to be one of the top three busiest sections of roadway in Indiana.

LFA engineers noted Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) was the greatest challenge for a venture of this size. Using a three-phased approach, traffic was rerouted to complete necessary work to each section of the road.

Working with INDOT’s LaPorte District, this more than $6 million project in Lake County was designed using the combined talents of LFA engineers Michael Guzik, Ethan Zartman and Mark Foster in conjunction with their project partners from VS Engineering, Inc., and Metric Environmental LLC.

LFA was assigned these thin deck overlay bridge rehabilitation projects under its 2018 On-Call Project Development Services agreement. LFA performed extensive queue analysis and coordination work with Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials to develop viable Maintenance of Traffic options and ultimately secure an Interstate Highway Congestion Policy (IHCP). This project was let in August 2020 and not awarded.

Based on feedback from the construction community, LFA revisited the maintenance of traffic plan and facilitated multiple work sessions with INDOT and IDOT technical staff for ramp closures at the Torrence interchange in Illinois among other changes while also updating the IHCP policy exception request in coordination with INDOT Central Office.

Additionally, LFA handled all environmental documentation, utility coordination and provided construction phase services. The revised project was then let in February 2021 with construction completed by Reith-Riley Construction Co., Inc., in the same year.

Due to the team’s ability to pivot and problem solve, travelers can now enjoy the safety of these bridges with extended life cycles on this important, heavily traveled Hoosier interstate corridor.

Lawson-Fisher Associates P. C. (LFA) has been providing engineering services from our South Bend office to both public and private clients for 50 years. We offer a broad range of civil engineering project services in the areas of transportation, bridges, structures, survey (GIS), and water resources. We have been involved in the planning, design, rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure projects throughout Northern and Central Indiana and Michigan.