IDOT puts “clean air” road building effort into action

IDOT puts “clean air” road building effort into action

As part of a “Clean Air Construction Initiative” launched by the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) last year, the heavy construction equipment earmarked for building and repairing Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway this summer will either be retrofitted with devices designed to reduce harmful emissions or will use ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD).

The change affects approximately 290 pieces of equipment and is a contract requirement for equipment operating on the Dan Ryan project, said IDOT Secretary Timothy Martin. He noted that the initiative is funded in part through a $60,000 grant from the federal EPA.

The project is desperately needed to handle traffic volumes, said IDOT, as the Dan Ryan Expressway carries more than 300,000 vehicles daily -- more than double what it was intended to handle when it was built more than 40 years ago.

The Illinois Tollway has adopted IDOT’s Clean Air Construction Initiative and is mandating the use of either ULSD fuel or retrofit heavy construction equipment on the reconstruction and widening projects along the south Tri-State (I-80/294) and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), as well as on the construction of the I-355 South Extension.

“This is an initiative for the metropolitan region,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Jack Hartman. “As the Tollway moves forward with its $5.3 billion Congestion-Relief Plan, we are presented with an opportunity to advance these important air quality improvement initiatives.”

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