Wacker Drive Reconstruction
The project consisted of the construction of a new gateway entrance to the city from the west. Work began with the demolition of existing interchange roadways and Lower Wacker Drive tunnels. Rehabilitation involved extensive foundation work, deck and beam replacement along Congress Parkway. New tunnels from lower Wacker Drive to westbound Congress Parkway and from eastbound Congress Parkway to Wacker Drive/Franklin Street were also included. Wells Street was widened and Van Buren Street was resurfaced between Wells Street and Wacker Drive.
Twenty-four 120’ ground anchors were utilized to reinforce the existing dock walls of this project prior to the removal of Lower Wacker Drive. Existing dock walls were previously held together utilizing the foundation for Lower Wacker Drive. Five separate underground junction chambers were constructed, each requiring an earth retention system which fell in close proximity to existing residential structures and the main cooling plant which provides chilled water to multiple downtown buildings. We also designed and operated two pumping systems used to temporarily maintain existing sewer flows in the main trunk line sewers carrying sewage from the City of Chicago business district.
Of particular interest was the reroute of the existing main sanitary drain (Water Reclamation District Drain) for downtown Chicago utilizing a 14’ diameter tunnel boring machine. The tunneling equipment was assembled underground in pieces, using a Manitowoc 999 275-ton Hydraulic Lattice Boom Crawler Crane to place each portion as it was moved into the shaft. The first leg installation included tunneling within 10’ of the subway tunnel providing service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. All this was done under Congress Parkway, the main vehicular artery into downtown. Daily settlement and vibration monitoring occurred to ensure these vital arteries were not affected by the project. The process on the second leg proceeded in the same fashion.
Client: Chicago Department of Transportation
Delivery Method: Design/Bid/Build