McHugh Building 10-Span Arch Bridge

Staff | September 28, 2010

Chicago— James McHugh Construction is building a unique 10-span, arch bridge over the Fox River to increase traffic capacity on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (Interstate 88). McHugh is building the new eastbound bridge just south of the existing Fox River Bridge, under a $44.5-million contract with the Illinois Tollway as part of its widening project on I-88.

The new bridge will be made of structural precast concrete and feature a series of five arches to replicate the design of the existing bridge, which opened in 1958. The existing westbound bridge will be rehabilitated as part of a separate contract in 2009. When work is complete, the existing bridge will carry three lanes of westbound traffic and the new span will carry three lanes of eastbound traffic.

Currently, the existing bridge carries two lanes of traffic in each direction, with limited shoulders. Because McHugh is building an entirely new, additional bridge, work will not disrupt traffic during construction.

The new bridge, scheduled for completion by the end of 2009, will be 1,345 feet long, supported by 10 spans underneath the roadway, including five 178-foot-long spans. The five arches will be created using structural precast concrete arch segments cast on site by McHugh.

McHugh is using performance-based specifications in its contract and is the team leader. Indianapolis-based Janssen & Spaans Engineering and Chicago-based Bowman, Barrett & Associates are the design engineers.