Daytime aerial image looking west of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) I-90 Kennedy Expressway Westbound Reconstruction project with light traffic.

I-90 Kennedy Expressway Westbound Reconstruction

A key connection to O’Hare International Airport, Interstate 90 (I-90 Kennedy Expressway) in Chicago is one of the most heavily traveled highways in the U.S, with an average daily traffic count of more than 200,000. A major reconstruction project aims to alleviate persistent congestion on I-90 by adding an auxiliary lane and collector-distributor road westbound, between Harlem Avenue and the I-294/I-190 O’Hare exit. The new lanes will increase mobility and improve safety by allowing vehicles to merge onto the expressway without interrupting the main flow of traffic.

The project includes expressway reconstruction, widening, and resurfacing, as well as a new collector-distributor road to move I-90 entrances and exits at Cumberland Avenue away from the main traffic flow. When complete, the work will improve traffic safety on the expressway—at the current average, a crash occurs every 36 hours. It will also reduce travel times and help keep traffic moving along a vital artery in greater Chicago.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming is providing engineering services for construction inspection of the project, ensuring that all work is performed to Illinois Department of Transportation standards. Seven new retaining walls along the expressway create space to add a new lane along 2.3 miles of roadway within a tight urban corridor. The reconstruction of ramps for three expressway interchanges alters their alignments to create smooth connections to the interstate, maintaining safe traffic flow at entrances and exits.

Besides inspecting the reconstruction and widening of the roadway as well as lighting, signing, and sign structure upgrades, our firm inspected the installation of a new storm sewer system along I-90 to ensure it will effectively manage runoff and prevent roadway flooding. The team also handled contract administration, contractor oversight, project documentation, and the coordination of material testing. The successful reconstruction of westbound I-90 sets the stage for a major effort to double the capacity of Interstate 190, which connects to I-90, in order to significantly improve access to O’Hare over the coming years.

Key Features

  • New 2.3-mile-long auxiliary lane increases capacity and enhances safety on westbound I-90.
  • Collector-distributor road relocates expressway entrances and exits away from main traffic flow.
  • Seven new retaining walls enable roadway construction and widening in a constrained corridor.
  • Storm sewer system provides effective stormwater management for new roadway.


  • Reduced congestion on a vital travel artery in greater Chicago.
  • Improved safety for westbound travelers on Interstate 90.
  • Support for construction program to enhance O’Hare Airport access.


Illinois Department of Transportation


Cook County, Ill.


Construction Management

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