Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

The Major Rehabilitation Of the Eastbound McClugage Bridge


The McClugage Bridge is located north of downtown Peoria, Illinois and carries both US 24 and US 150 over the Illinois River (see Appendix A.1for location map). The two truss bridges that make up the McClugage Bridge are the second most heavily traveled river crossing in Peoria with an ADT of 42,500 vehicles.  The bridges connect the growing communities on the east side of the river to the developing north side of Peoria. Original construction was finished on the 4750' long eastbound structure in 1949. Over the last 50 years the weather and the salt used during snow removal operations have caused deterioration to the structural steel and the concrete that forms the massive piers and bridge deck. To effectively extend the life of the bridge it was necessary to perform a major rehabilitation.

The bridge is comprised of a 1474 foot three span through truss, a 1360 foot six span under truss, a 524 foot three span under truss, and thirteen conventional multi girder spans (see Appendix A.1). The work included the replacement of the entire floor system, deck, and bearings. Also needed was repair to a majority of the piers along with strengthening and replacement of a substantial amount of deteriorated truss elements. To protect the structure from the environment, the entire structure was cleaned and painted. In all, over 1500 tons of new steel, 1.2 million pounds of reinforcing steel, 5000 cubic yards of concrete, and 17,500 gallons of paint were used. The nature of the rehabilitation to the eastbound structure would not allow stage construction as an option and therefore the structure had to be closed. While the structure was closed, two-way traffic was maintained on the westbound structure. Innovative traffic management tools were incorporated into the project to help ease traffic congestion during construction. It was imperative that the major rehabilitation be completed within one construction season so that the impact to the traveling public was minimized.

The success achieved on a project of this magnitude can be attributed to the teamwork experienced by all parties involved. The planning phase of the project began in the early 1990's and was conducted by McClure Engineers in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation. The project was then handed to IDOT District Four and the Bureau of Bridges and Structures in the mid 1990's as it transitioned into the design phase. The construction engineering phase of the project was spear headed by the Illinois Department of Transportation with inspection services provided by Hanson Engineers. The project was let on June 11, 1999. The successful bid of $26.1 million was submitted by a joint venture between Midwest Foundation Corporation based in Tremont, Illinois and Halverson Construction based in Springfield, Illinois.

Since the McClugage Bridge is a vital link from Peoria to the surrounding communities and also to Chicago, it was imperative that the project progressed at a breathtaking pace while maintaining status quo with regards to the traffic flow. To ensure timeliness, IDOT used a cost-plus-time (A+B) bidding process. The bidding documents also stated that the eastbound structure could not be closed until March 13, 2000 and had to be reopened to traffic on November 1, 2000. Associated with this time frame was a $25,000 per day incentive/disincentive. Working two shifts nearly around the clock for six days a week, a staggering amount of work was completed in 7 ½ months; culminating in a reopening ceremony attended by Governor George Ryan on October 31, 2000 (see Appendix A.2). The cleaning and painting of the under truss, on the Peoria side of the river, will be completed in the Spring of 2001 without affecting traffic flow on the structure.

Evaluation Criteria:

1. Quality Process and Results

The traveling public demands that government agencies provide quality road and bridge projects at breathtaking paces. This public mandate has forced the contractors performing this work to work smarter and with greater efficiency. This philosophy of working smarter and with greater efficiency can not stop with the contractors. This philosophy needs to be embraced by the government agencies inspecting the work. IDOT's inspection team, which included Hanson Engineers, acknowledged that if they expected Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction to complete the overwhelming amount of work in 7 ½ months, they would need to streamline their inspection process, decision making, and documentation techniques.  The IDOT inspection team was vital to the pace of the project and in maintaining a high level of quality work.

Streamlined Contract Additions

Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction's schedule heavily relied upon having the "right materials at the right time" and therefore did not allow for delays incurred through additions to the contract. Under IDOT's typical mode of operation, deteriorated truss members would be identified as the project progressed. After the deteriorated truss members were identified, there would be a delay while a decision was made on how to repair and then further delay while the repairs were ordered, fabricated and delivered. The IDOT inspection team realized that this age-old process was not acceptable on this project due to the time constraints dictated by the contract. The inspection team needed to be forward thinking in its approach to inspection to ensure that the project remained on schedule.

During the winter of 1999/2000, prior to commencing the rehabilitation of the eastbound structure on March 13, 2000, the IDOT inspection team started to have serious concerns about the condition of the 50 year old bridge. The years of salt exposure, caused by snow removal operations, had taken its toll on the structure. It had become obvious to the inspection team that there were a considerable amount of repairs that needed to be made to the truss that were not proposed in the plans. The inspection team knew that every repair that was identified early was one less decision that would need to be made under the pressure of the October 31, 2000 deadline. With this philosophy in mind, the inspection team, in cooperation with Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction, took the initiative to use man-lifts to inspect as much of the structure as was accessible.  This inspection was taking place four months before the major rehabilitation officially began. A substantial number of deteriorated truss members were identified.  Digital photographs were taken and electronically transferred to the Bureau of Bridges and Structures were they were analyzed. The proactive inspection allowed time for the Bureau of Bridges and Structures to make decisions regarding repairs and to draw the appropriate details. This advance notice allowed Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction time to have the additional members fabricated and delivered to the project well before the work was to be performed.

Although portions of the structure could be inspected well in advance of beginning the work, there was still a major portion of the structure that could not be inspected until the structure was closed and the bridge deck was removed. As previously mentioned, the schedule did not allow for delays due to the addition of work to the contract and therefore it was imperative that a plan to handle these inevitable situations was in place prior to closing the eastbound structure.  In cooperation with Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction, local fabricators, and IDOT's Bureau of Bridges and Structures, the following plan was implemented.  Once the bridge deck was removed, the IDOT inspection team would immediately begin inspection of the exposed truss members. If deteriorated truss members were identified, digital photographs were taken and electronically transferred to the Bureau of Bridges and Structures immediately. The following day a decision was received from the Bureau of Bridges and Structures regarding the previous days concerns. If repairs needed to be made, IDOT's Resident Engineer, in cooperation with Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction's expert, on-site estimator/detailer, would use the original contract plans, as built in 1949, to create details for the local fabricator. The details were then faxed to a fabricator located in Peoria. The repairs were fabricated, painted, and delivered to the jobsite within five days of identification. This streamlined process allowed $1.2 million of structural steel repairs to be added to the contract without delaying the re-opening of the structure. The streamlined yet thorough process not only kept the project on schedule but ensured the structural integrity of the bridge into the next century.

Continuous Quality 

IDOT projects typically include the contractor-dreaded "punchlist" at the end of the project. At that time, inspection staff will inspect the entire project with a "fine-tooth comb" and generate an extensive list of items that need attention before the contract can be considered complete. Although this time tested process of inspection ensures a certain level of quality before the project is completed, it ignores the philosophy embodied by the continuous quality concept. The old saying, "There is no better time than the present" applies to construction projects.  The most effective method of achieving a high level of quality is through inspection before and during construction operations, not after they are complete.

The McClugage Bridge inspection team embraced the continuous quality concept for several reasons. The primary reason was that they realized that continuous quality was the path to high quality. Potential Issues were identified by the inspection team, examined, and resolved prior to operations beginning. This process prevented making hasty decisions, that would jeopardize quality, during the "heat of the battle". Although the pre-operation inspection was thorough and prevented countless potential issues from becoming quality jeopardizing issues, the inspection team could not foresee every problem. Like and construction project, unforeseen problems and deficient construction techniques occurred during some of the concrete pours. When these issues arose, the inspection team would resolve these problems and instruct the work crews on proper techniques.  This aggressive, proactive inspection process built quality into the project rather than trying to perform make-shift repairs after the work was completed.

The secondary reason for the inspection team's embracing of the continuous quality concept was the ever present October 31, 2000 deadline. Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction's schedule did not allow for re-work due to poor initial quality.  The inspection team, while incorporating partnering philosophies, needed to ensure that operations were completed at a high quality level on the first attempt.  This continuous, relentless inspection not only produced a quality product but it also allowed the eastbound structure to be re-opened to traffic on schedule and aided Midwest Foundation/ Halverson Construction in receiving contract incentives.

Quality Contract Documentation

The McClugage Bridge inspection team's primary responsibility was ensuring that a quality structure was produced by the October 31, 2000 deadline. A sometimes overlooked ( by people other than the inspection team) but extremely important secondary responsibility was accurate, prompt contract documentation. When performed properly, contract documentation is beneficial for the following reasons:

  1. It works in conjunction with inspection procedures to ensure the project is being built in accordance with the contract plans.
  2. It allows for accurate, prompt payment to contractors.
  3. It helps resolve and/or prevent disputes which often result in litigation.
  4. It ensures that the proper materials are being incorporated into the project.
  5. It provides fiscal accountability to the always interested taxpayer.

Following IDOT guidelines, the McClugage Bridge inspection team compiled a comprehensive documentation system that produced the following results:

  1. No disputes between IDOT and Midwest Foundation/Halverson Construction regarding contract quantities.
  2. No unapproved materials being incorporated into the project.
  3. A documentation review was performed by IDOT's audit section and only two minor deficiencies were found.
  4. Avoided contractor complaints by systematically processing two pay estimates per month. Each pay estimate, on average, totaling $1.5 million.

There is a myth that to achieve top notch documentation one must take time away from and therefore sacrifice a quality inspection. The McClugage Bridge inspection team proved that quality documentation and quality inspection can co-exist.

2. Customer Focus

Recent maintenance repairs to the bridge and reconstruction to the interchanges on either side of the bridge had resulted in substantial traffic congestion and horrible public relations for IDOT. The nature of the rehabilitation to the eastbound structure would not allow stage construction. The only alternative was to provide two-way traffic on the adjacent westbound structure. With 42,500 vehicles per day using the bridge to cross the river, this project had the potential to produce lengthy backups which would result in a public relations disaster.  Since the project's inception, the media and the public had been preparing for traffic gridlock while the eastbound structure was closed (see Appendix A.3) . To combat the potential for lengthy delays and the corresponding preconceived negative public opinion, IDOT needed to be proactive and innovative in its approach to contracting, traffic management, and public relations.

Innovative Contracting

IDOT's concern for the inconvenience to the traveling public dictated that this project be completed in one construction season. Thus IDOT used the A+B bidding process to stimulate a rapid completion. The A+B bidding process is a cost plus time method of bidding which adds a contractor determined time factor to the already competitive cost factor. The successful bidder is the contractor with the lowest total bid based on the formula: "A + [B x (the daily cost)]".  The A portion is the contractor's traditional bid while "B" is the number of days in which the contractor claims they can complete the project. The "daily cost" for this project was calculated to be $25,000 which reflects the costs associated with the adverse travel to the bridge users. Because of the substantial amount of work involved in the project, Midwest/Halverson bid the maximum allowable days set by the contract of 233 calendar days. To further expedite the project, IDOT included an incentive/disincentive clause in the contract. Reopening the bridge earlier than the 233 days bid would provide an incentive of $25,000 per day (with a maximum of 30 days), while tardiness would result in an assessment of $25,000 per day for liquidated damages. Despite a substantial amount of added work to the trusses and the piers, Midwest/Halverson was able to reopen the bridge on schedule. The innovative contracting used on this project proved successful in attaining rapid completion.

Innovative Traffic Management

1) Moveable Barrier System

With a substantial percentage of Peoria's workforce living in the bedroom communities on the east side of the river and working on Peoria's rapidly developing north side, there are distinct rush hours on the bridge. The morning rush hour occurs between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM and the evening rush hour occurs from 3:00 PM to 6:00PM. After analyzing the traffic data, the design team realized that one lane of traffic would not provide an acceptable level of service in the rush hour direction. Having two lanes of traffic in the rush hour direction was pertinent to the success of the traffic management. The challenge came in the fact that the westbound structure was only wide enough to accommodate three lanes of traffic.  The design team agonized over the dilemma: How do you provide the capacity of four lanes while only utilizing three lanes? The only way to increase the capacity on the structure was to maximize the number of lanes in the rush hour direction.  The solution to the problem was solved, in cooperation with Barrier Systems, Inc., by the utilization of a moveable barrier system (see Appendix A.4). During the morning rush hour, the moveable barrier wall was aligned so that there were two lanes traveling into Peoria and one lane traveling out of Peoria. At 11:00 AM everyday except Sundays, the moveable barrier wall was realigned to accommodate the evening rush hour. The westbound structure then carried two lanes of traffic out of Peoria and one lane back into Peoria. The use of the moveable barrier wall system literally eliminated the daily traffic congestion that had been common place during previous construction projects in the vicinity of the bridge. 

Not only did the moveable barrier wall system single handedly eliminate traffic congestion but it also became somewhat of a novelty in the Peoria area. The "Zipper" has it was commonly referred to in the newspapers, grabbed the spotlight in Central Illinois. The news media and public were amazed at the machine's efficiency in moving 6000 feet of reinforced concrete wall twice daily. The barrier wall could be realigned in a previously unthinkable time of 25 minutes with only minor disruptions to traffic. While in operation, the 16 ton machine would lift the barrier wall and make a 12 foot lateral transfer at speeds up to 10 mph. This allowed the center lane on the westbound structure to be a "reversible lane". This meant that the center lane was used to carry traffic traveling east part of the day and to carry traffic traveling west the remainder of the day. The moveable barrier system was truly an innovative solution to this particular traffic management problem.

2) Automated Real-Time Traffic Control System

Peoria has the luxury of having multiple river crossings within close proximity.  With the use of the moveable barrier wall, IDOT was confident that the every day traffic would flow freely across the bridge. The remaining concern was the length of delays if there was an accident or stalled vehicle on the bridge.  The challenge was to provide real-time information to motorist far enough in advance of the work zone so that they could make decisions regarding alternate routes before being trapped in traffic congestion.

The solution to this problem was to utilize an automated real-time traffic control system. (see Appendix A.5). The system, provided by the Scientex Corp., consisted of standard variable message signs equipped with Doppler radars for speed detection. The radars collected vehicle speed data on the routes leading to the bridge. The speed data was analyzed by an on-site central computer.  The computer would use the speed data to calculate traveling times from each particular message sign. When the vehicle speeds indicated increased travel times, the computer would send that information back to the message signs where corresponding delay messages were displayed. In cases of extreme traffic congestion, the system would prompt the message signs to display messages suggesting alternate routes. Ten message signs were strategically placed along the routes leading to the bridge so that motorists had time to read the messages and make decisions regarding alternate routes before reaching the traffic congestion (see Appendix A.5). In the age of communication, the condition responsive real-time system is an example of how technological advances can enhance the effectiveness of traffic control in work zones.

3) Video Surveillance System

Due to the high volumes of traffic, it was important that the traffic control devices and traffic flow where being monitored at all times to ensure safety and efficiency. The most efficient method of accomplishing that task was a video surveillance system. Video cameras were mounted on 55 foot poles at the interchanges on either end of the bridge. The cameras had pan, tilt, and zoom control. The camera controls and viewing monitors are located in IDOT's District office located in Peoria. The cameras where used extensively by IDOT's traffic specialist to evaluate the traffic control devices. The daily evaluations were performed to ensure that traffic control was operating at optimum safety and efficiency.

The original intent of the video surveillance system was for use by IDOT personnel only. During the local agency coordination and public relations efforts it was revealed that the video surveillance system could be used for additional purposes. In cooperation with the local emergency response agency, the cameras were used to help identify accidents. This allowed the appropriate response teams to be dispatched thereby reducing the response time and the amount of time traffic was disrupted. The camera images could also be viewed by the public via the Internet. This allowed motorist to view traffic conditions at the bridge before leaving for work in the morning or before leaving for home in the evening. Motorists could then make decisions regarding alternate routes before leaving for their destination.

The three aforementioned innovative traffic management tools contributed to the well-being of the traveling public and the surrounding communities by minimizing traffic congestion and the corresponding travel times. This allowed people and materials to flow freely and safely through a heavily traveled construction zone. The real-time traffic control system kept motorists aware of what was happening ahead which eliminated surprises to the motorists. Surprised motorists are often the cause of accidents in construction zones. By eliminating the surprises to the motorists, accidents at the bridge were nearly eliminated.  The past history of traffic congestion at the bridge suggested that this project had potential for lengthy traffic delays and poor public relations. The traffic management tools were extremely successful which was evident by the overwhelmingly positive media attention and response from the traveling public (see Appendix A.6).

Public Relations

The positive public relations did not occur by accident. IDOT was very aggressive in its approach to public relations on this project. Rather than waiting for the news media to approach IDOT when traffic delays occurred, IDOT solicited the media's help to publicize information about the project. IDOT worked in conjunction with the local newspapers and television stations to produce graphics displaying the traffic patterns and accurate timelines of the project. IDOT produced a web page with information and pictures pertaining to the current status of the project. The local news agencies web pages contained links to IDOT's web page to allow their web page users easy access to information concerning the bridge construction. To keep the traveling public current on the project's status, a sign was mounted on the east end of the bridge that continually displayed the percent complete of the project. In all cases, IDOT's goal was to keep the media and public abreast of the project's status. The lack of traffic congestion associated with this project proved that the public is the winner when IDOT and the media work in harmony to produce positive informational press. The proactive stance taken by IDOT cultivated a working relationship with the media and public that will prove beneficial in the years to come.

3. Teamwork

IDOT strongly believes that partnering greatly approves the quality and cooperation of its projects. The partnering philosophy centers around the concept of open communication. The process typically focuses on the relationship between construction inspection personnel and contractors. Midwest/Halverson have worked on numerous successful "partnered" projects with IDOT and therefore were no stranger to this process. The twist on this "partnered" project was the involvement of  the local agencies and IDOT's Bureau of Bridges and Structures. During the formal partnering session, a charter was drawn up and ambitious goals were set (see Appendix A.7 ). What made this project special was the actual implementation of the charter by all team members.

Having only one lane of traffic in a particular direction on the westbound bridge, with concrete barrier on both sides, caused some logistic problems for the emergency response agencies. IDOT realized this prior to beginning construction and decided it was necessary to coordinate with all parties with potential involvement. These agencies included fire departments, local police departments, state police, ambulance services, and local traffic engineering departments. The aforementioned agencies were involved in a meeting where open communication was encouraged by IDOT. The agencies were given a chance to review the traffic control plan to determine how the plan would affect their operations. They discussed particular incidents and how each agency would respond. They were able to offer suggestions that benefited the overall effectiveness of the traffic control as well as the response to incidents. These suggestions were implemented into the project and therefore were in place when incidents occurred. By involving the local agencies in the partnering process, both IDOT and the local agencies were able to be proactive rather than reactive with regards to emergency response. This proactive action proved successful in minimizing emergency response times during the project.

It was vital to the progress of the project that IDOT's Bureau of Bridges and Structures was included in the partnering process. They had to make decisions that were critical to the project's pace under pressure packed time frames.  The accelerated schedule allowed little time for troubleshooting problems that arose in the field. The Bureau of Bridges and Structures had to make sound engineering decisions and at the same time be cognizant of the contractor's schedule. To ensure the success of open communication throughout the project, relationships were formed between the Bureau of Bridges and Structures and the contractors and inspection personnel during the formal partnering meeting that was held well before the project began. The open relationships allowed information to flow freely between the different parties. When unforeseen problems arose in the field, digital photographs were taken and immediately electronically transferred to the Bureau of Bridges and Structures. This procedure allowed the structural engineers to view the problems instantaneously and make educated decisions at an unprecedented rate. Resolving issues in this manner was just another example of how partnering/teamwork was beneficial to the overall quality and timeliness of the project.

In addition to the special meetings with local agencies and the almost daily contact the project personnel had with the Bureau of Bridges and Structures, weekly partnering meetings were held at the jobsite. The meetings were held to ensure that all team members were aware of upcoming activities and what needed to be done to maintain the expedited schedule. The meeting attendee list was ever changing depending on upcoming or current activities. Regardless of those in attendance, the general rule was that all team members were allowed to voice their opinions and concerns. This open communication not only enhanced the quality of the project but also left "no stone unturned" when it came to solving problems. The result of the open communication that stemmed from the partnering process was a quality project that was completed ahead of schedule.

4. Innovation and Value

Innovative Design Solutions

A serious challenge in designing a major rehabilitation on a 50 year old bridge is cost effectively retrofitting the bridge to meet current design standards.  The biggest challenge on this particular bridge was minimizing the dead load while maintaining the safety and structural integrity of the structure. Since the typically proposed 7 ½" reinforced concrete bridge deck and standard concrete parapet were decisively heavier than the existing concrete filled steel grid bridge deck and decorative steel side rails, the design team had to either increase the capacity of the structure or find a way to decrease the proposed dead load.  Since the design of the trusses were not conducive to retrofitting to increase the loading capacity, the only alternative for the design team was to decrease the proposed dead load. Decreasing the proposed dead load was achieved in two fashions. The proposed bridge deck depth was reduced to 7" rather than the standard 7 ½" and an aluminum parapet was utilized in lieu of a concrete parapet in the truss sections (see Appendix A.8). The use of the aluminum parapet reduced the weight per foot of parapet by approximately 345 lbs. The aluminum parapet alternative reduced the overall dead load in the 1475 foot through truss by approximately 1,000,000 pounds. Although the aluminum parapet is light weight and aesthetically pleasing, it still provides a durable barrier that meets the necessary safety requirements.

Innovative Construction Solutions

Access to the work and efficient movement of equipment and materials are major problems with a bridge of this size over a body of water. Midwest/Halverson are no strangers to challenging river based structural projects. The two contractors together have an extensive arsenal of heavy equipment, including an impressive number of river tugs and floating work platforms. They not only have the equipment required to accomplish a project of this magnitude but also have the ingenuity to perform the work efficiently.

The unprecedented quantity of work proposed to be completed in the short time frame accentuated the need for efficient transportation of materials and equipment.  Barges covered with gravel were used as temporary roadways . This allowed equipment and materials to be transported 2000 feet out on the river (see Appendix A.9). This was drastically more efficient than having to shuttle equipment and materials back and forth with tugs and barges. To increase the efficiency of the work required over the water, two innovative mobile platforms were used to that allow access to the underside of the bridge. The platforms were used to perform steel repairs and to strip the lumber after the bridge deck was poured. One of the platforms had a water filled tank that acted as a counterweight to a platform that extended under the bridge deck. The counter weight rested on the bridge deck while the platform extended under the bridge to carry men and materials (see Appendix A.9). The counter weight had wheels which allowed the entire system to be moved as needed. The mobile platform used in the truss section that spans the navigation channel was suspended from the bottom chord of the truss (see Appendix A.10). This platform allowed work to be performed 60 feet above the river, over the navigation channel, without affecting river traffic.  To further increase the efficiency of the work over the navigation channel, an overhead crane system was utilized (see Appendix A.10). The overhead crane system was mounted directly to the structure. The crane could transport materials such as structural steel, reinforcement bars, and lumber quickly and efficiently throughout the through truss after the existing bridge deck was removed. The alternative to using suspended platforms and the overhead crane system was to float equipment and materials to the desired locations on barges. Efficiency was the main concern with that alternative. The Illinois River supports a substantial amount of barge traffic. Throughout the day as barges needed to pass under the bridge, the work barges carrying equipment and materials would have to exit the navigation channel thereby suspending work. This procedure would have seriously impeded the progress of the work and therefore Midwest/Halverson chose to employ the benefits of the suspended platform and overhead crane. The painting subcontractor (Thomas Industrial Coatings) utilized a suspended scaffolding system to resolve their access issues (see Appendix A.10). The scaffolding was suspended from the bottom of the structure. It was used as part of the lead containment system as well as to provide access to the work The innovative access solutions that were implemented by the contractors expedited the project without adversely affecting river traffic.

5. Long-Term Improvement

The rehabilitation of the eastbound McClugage Bridge was an extremely beneficial project to the Peoria area. The rehabilitation of the structure will continue to allow people and materials to flow freely across the Illinois River. This free flow of traffic across the river is vital to the economy in the Peoria area. To continue to provide this level of service, it is important that the bridge is in peak operating condition. This project not only extended the life of the bridge into the next century but also was performed with only minor disruptions to the flow of traffic.

A+B bidding is a concept that is used for complex and time dependent projects.  The traveling public wants the ever increasing number of roadway projects to be completed quickly thereby reducing the duration of inconvenience. A+B bidding is one method of expediting projects and its successful use on the project encourages further use throughout the highway construction industry.

The traveling public reluctantly acknowledges that roadway construction is inevitable and therefore has turned their attention to successful traffic management.  The combination of innovative traffic management tools (moveable barrier wall system, automated real-time traffic control system, and the video surveillance system) that were incorporated into this project, literally eliminated traffic congestion and have become a model for traffic management in the Midwest.

Lack of information concerning roadway projects leads to motorist confusion.  This confusion often turns to hostility towards highway agencies. The primary benefit of the proactive and aggressive public relations campaign was that the traveling public was educated about the project well before it began. Motorists were allowed to digest this information via the newspaper, radio, television, and internet. A secondary benefit of the campaign was that it proved that positive, working relationships can be established with the media. The interaction with the media and the public relations campaign that was utilized on this project have become a model throughout IDOT's other eight districts.

IDOT will continue to utilize formal and informal partnering on all of its major construction projects. It has been proven time and again that this initial investment in cooperation and commitment yields tenfold in the level of teamwork established which ultimately leads to a high quality product with minimal disruption and inconvenience to the public. The success of including local agencies and other bureaus within IDOT in the partnering process has prompted IDOT to continue with this philosophy on all projects with exceptionally high public impact.

The eastbound McClugage Bridge has both a functional purpose and an aesthetic purpose. Over the 50 years since its original construction, the McClugage Bridge has become a Peoria landmark. The dramatic truss lines and architectural shapes of the piers give the bridge a distinct position on the Peoria skyline. With the new paint job and the cosmetic repairs to the piers, the aesthetic value of the bridge has been restored. This project has directly benefited Peoria's infrastructure and will indirectly benefit the well-being of the surrounding communities for years to come.

Executive Summary:

To tackle a project of this magnitude takes an enormous amount of effort and coordination. To be successful requires teamwork and ingenuity. The McClugage Bridge team displayed characteristics that set them apart from other projects.  The team was able to produce a quality product at an unprecedented pace that will benefit the Peoria area well into the 21st Century. The extraordinary teamwork, coordination, and ingenuity made this project both a construction and a public relations success. It is with these characteristics in mind that the entire McClugage Bridge Rehabilitation team requests consideration as the recipient of the 2001 National Partnership For Highway Quality Award.

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