News / 7.6.16

Intern Site Visit – Chicago River Site Infrastructure

Tour of three high-rise developments taking shape along the Chicago River

Yesterday, July 5th, our summer 2016 Intern Class had a unique experience in which they were given an infrastructure site tour of job sites along the Chicago River for three high-rise developments taking shape along the banks of the Chicago River. The expert guides for our interns' tour were Dave Hilty, PE, our senior civil engineer and project manager, and Becky Howe, PE, our senior design engineer, for the three projects on the tour – River Point, 150 N. Riverside and Wolf Point West Tower. Dave & Becky's 'excellent adventure' along the River shared interesting facts and details on many of Epstein's civil engineering solutions for these massive developments currently under construction.

Some of things our interns learned included that for the Wolf Point West Tower, a 43-story residential building, that there weren't any existing utilities on the peninsula-like site. Epstein's engineers had to bring all of the services from Kinzie Street. Epstein also designed the master utilities for entire Wolf Point development, including the constructed West Tower as well as the future East and South Towers.

For 150 N. Riverside, a 53-story commercial office building, which is located on a unique site bound by two bridges, an elevated alley-bridge and the river. There were many challenges with servicing the building for utilities, including the water service installation, which required coordination with the owner, contractor, design team, Amtrak, and the City of Chicago.

And for River Point, a 52-story office tower, the CTA blue line runs under the building and the southernmost building columns sit on a 10' thick grade beam that sits on caissons that straddle the blue line tunnel. Epstein designed the river walk with LEED best management practices including landscaped infiltration areas and underground aggregate stormwater detention.

The entire Epstein Intern Class of 2016 enjoyed the tour and factoids – even in the oppressive heat! And, lastly, special thanks go out to Dave and Becky for being such great tour guides and taking time off from their busy day to educate our Intern Class on the finer and hidden gems of civil engineering!