Elgin O’Hare Western Access (EOWA) Project Coordination
The Village of Itasca first contracted with HR Green in January 2013 for engineering services related to plan review, meeting attendance, Intergovernmental Agreement review, and coordination with affected parties caused by the pending construction of the EOWA (now called Illinois Route 390) project through the Village of Itasca. These services are being contracted on a semi-annual basis, with an estimated scope of work based upon Tollway schedules for design and construction. The services contracted continue to be amended on a semi-annual basis to include projected work scope to occur within the upcoming time period. Plan submittals began in December 2012 and will continue until late 2016. Construction work began in late 2013 and will continue through 2017.
Based upon the successful manner in which these services were provided to the Village of Itasca, the City of Wood Dale approached HR Green in mid-July 2013. Shortly thereafter, Wood Dale entered into a contract with HR Green to perform the same services for the sections of the EOWA project within City of Wood Dale jurisdiction. In addition to plan review and coordination services, the City of Wood Dale has also contracted with HR Green to provide supplemental construction stage coordination and inspection services as well.
In Summer 2013, the Village of Roselle also entered into a contract with HR Green for plan reviews associated with two Tollway construction contracts. The scope of work performed for the Village of Roselle was much less intense in nature, as in this area the proposed work consisted of widening an existing four lane divided highway into a six lane divided Tollway. For these contracts, the work scope focused on four general areas as requested by the Village: A) lighting, B) drainage/stormwater, C) landscaping, and D) Village sanitary sewer and watermain utility crossings. For each of these key areas, HR Green reviewed the Tollway design drawings to evaluate changes to each area, provided comments to the Tollway design engineers, and also provided executive summaries to the Village, which included descriptions of changes to each of these key areas and their effects upon Village residents and motorists.
Building upon this success with these three communities, in late 2013, the Village of Bensenville also contracted with HR Green to perform plan review and coordination services for the projects within the Village of Bensenville jurisdiction.
This approach of having one engineering firm, HR Green, perform these services for multiple adjacent communities has paid great dividends for each community. Lessons learned, and work items negotiated in one community, have been coordinated and applied to the mutual benefit of the other communities.
The construction value of the proposed Tollway work within the corporate limits of these four communities currently exceeds $512 million, for 19 separate construction contracts which have already been bid and awarded by the Illinois Tollway. As of June 2016, approximately $320 million of this Tollway work has already been completed, with the remaining work scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. HR Green is currently involved with the review of design engineering plans for 3 more construction contracts within the Village of Bensenville, with numerous additional contracts planned for the 2017 thru 2022 period.
HR Green’s scope of work is focused on design and construction impacts on existing municipal roadway and underground infrastructure assets, and on reducing impacts to those facilities. Where impacts/relocation are necessary, HR Green, in conjunction with municipal staff, has focused on ensuring that the relocations are being designed to provide improved access for long-term maintenance purposes.
HR Green has worked closely with the four communities, other taxing bodies, and adjacent key property owners and homeowner associations, to identify and prioritize potential enhancements which can be constructed in conjunction with the EOWA project. These enhancements include, but are not limited to, traffic signal aesthetic upgrades, bridge and retaining wall hardscape enhancements, roadway improvement extensions, pedestrian/bikepath system extensions and utility extensions.
HR Green is also heavily involved with public outreach to adjacent residential, industrial and office park properties. This includes individual meetings with property owners to explain project scope, coordination with business park owners to ensure their access, as well as addressing aesthetic concerns, notifications to affected property owners about public outreach meetings.
HR Green also coordinated the Intergovernmental Agreement review and approval process for several municipalities. To date, approximately one dozen agreements have been finalized, with improved language benefitting the municipalities in regards to inspection involvement, project coordination, funding allocation aligned with each municipalitys’ fiscal year budget.
From January 2013 through June 2016, HR Green has performed in excess of 60 separate plan reviews (plans are submitted at the 30%, 60%, 95%, and 100% complete stages) on 22 different construction contracts. A conservative estimate of over $25 million of new municipal asset improvements fully funded by the Illinois Tollway, including watermain relocation, sanitary sewer replacement, and roadway reconstruction, have been included within these contracts, and the location and design of these improvements have been optimized through the efforts of HR Green working collectively with these various communities.
HR Green also worked in conjunction with these four communities to convince the Illinois Tollway to purchase necessary municipal rights of way instead of these properties being donated to the Tollway. This has resulted in approximately $2.6 million of land acquisition credits being provided by the Tollway, which have allowed several communities to fully fund additional aesthetic improvements, utility system expansions, and to construct sidewalk and bikepaths along the Illinois Route 390 corridor the benefit of their residents and motorists without requiring expenditure of additional municipal funds.
HR Green is working for the best interests of the Village of Roselle, Village of Itasca, the City of Wood Dale, and the Village of Bensenville. The general theme of the services has been to make the EOWA project the best it can be for the municipalities, to provide enhanced aesthetics, improve access and facilitate future development and redevelopment adjacent to this major project.