December 8, 2021
Project no. 38 in our Top 100 Projects countdown is a major ongoing facility program for the Illinois Tollway.
In 2012, Epstein was selected as the lead architect and engineer for Phase I and Phase II engineering services for the development of a strategic systemwide master plan. This included facility assessments of existing facilities, site specific master plans, the design of two prototype maintenance buildings and phased repair plans for all of the Illinois Tollway’s maintenance facilities, which is part of the Move Illinois Program and allows the Tollway to reconstruct and/or rehabilitate its aging maintenance facilities.
As the prime consultant, Epstein managed a project team that included a number of MBE/WBE subconsultants for a scope of work that included ESIS I and ESIS II, surveying, Phase I ESA and Phase II ESA, hazard materials reporting, environmental investigation and remediation planning, and geotechnical investigation and engineering. In addition to our base scope of services, Epstein provided Phase III engineering support during the M-1 reconstruction, including site observations, submittal reviews, and request for information responses.
Epstein also performed master planning, site layout, truck maneuvering analysis and due diligence for several locations being assessed by the Tollway for new or relocated maintenance facilities, including a yard to serve the Elgin O’Hare Western Access.
The project assessed the current condition of all the existing maintenance yards, parking lots, salt storage structures, and buildings, before developing contract plans to keep them in a state of good repair until they are reconstructed or rehabilitated. Recommended rehabilitation work included multi-site boiler replacement, fuel dispensing and anti-freeze tank improvements, paving replacement, salt barn repairs and miscellaneous minor repair contracts.
As the design section engineer, Epstein was instrumental in helping the Illinois Tollway achieve not only its goal to have a systemwide master plan for its maintenance facilities, but also to have a prototype that was bid under budget and have construction start on a first facility in 2014.
Epstein took a holistic approach to the design problems and challenges of this project. All maintenance sites were visited to complete facilities assessment reports that guided the recommendations laid out in the master plan. Extensive programming meetings were held with all relevant Tollway departments including, but not limited to, engineering, facilities, finance, operations, fleet, roadway, custodial, information technology, security, procurement and Illinois State Police District 15. Ancillary studies were produced and presented to support design decisions and recommendations including the benefits of parking trucks inside to cost benefit analysis of building materials. Epstein reached out to other municipalities and public works departments to reference the best practices used across the country. No stone was left unturned in the team’s efforts to bring the best solutions to the Illinois Tollway in its effort to build modern maintenance facilities in support of its 21st century transportation system.
This collaborative effort resulted in a prototype and master plan that was delivered within budget and scheduling goals and, most importantly, met all the operational and sustainability goals of the Illinois Tollway.
To date, Epstein has delivered new maintenance facilities in Alsip (M-1), Hampshire (M-6), Rockford (M-7), Naperville (M-8) and Bensenville (M-16). In addition, M-1, M-6 and M-7 have been certified LEED-NC Gold and M-8 and M-16 are pursuing LEED-NC Gold certification.