Project Owner

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)


AECOM, TranSystems

Services Provided

Phase I/II Design Services


Chicago, IL

Year of Construction


Jane-Byrne “Circle” Interchange (I-90/94 and I-290/Congress Parkway)

The Jane Byrne (formerly Circle) Interchange functions as the hub of the Chicago Expressway system linking the Kennedy, Dan Ryan, and Eisenhower Expressways in downtown Chicago and accommodating over 400,000 vehicles per day. The original 1958 design did not anticipate this level of traffic and was rated one of the most congested highway freight bottlenecks in the nation based on a study completed by the American Transportation Research Institute and FHWA.

The project’s scope included redesigning and rehabilitating 23 cross-road bridges that carry local roads over I-90/94 and I-290, as well as numerous bridge structures carrying ramps. Within the project limits, there were significant existing infrastructures, such as potable water lines, sewer lines, pumping facilities, gas lines, electric lines, and even the CTA Blue Line, a light rail commuter line, running in the median of I-290, which goes underground just west of the interchange. Other project components involved retaining wall rehabilitation and reconstruction, a new lighting system, expressway signing, highway drainage system improvements, and surveillance items.

HBM played a crucial role as a sub-consultant to AECOM & TranSystems in the ambitious Jane-Byrne Interchange reconstruction project, located at the intersection of I-90/94 and I-290 Congress Parkway in Illinois. This multi-year endeavor encompassed a variety of Phase 2 construction contracts (PS&E) aimed at overhauling the Jane Byrne Interchange, a controlled access roadway that stretches from Roosevelt Road in the south to Lake Street in the north, covering I-90/94 and I-290/Congress Parkway for a total length of 2.1 miles. The project area was densely urbanized, posing unique challenges.

HBM’s Scope:

  • 5 Bridges (Crossroad Bridges & Ramps)
    • Morgan St. Bridge over I-290/CTA
    • Taylor Street Bridge over I-90/94
    • Taylor Street Bridge ramp to I-90/94 NB
    • EN Ramp (Eisenhower to Kennedy)
    • SB I-90/94 Taylor St. Bypass Ramp
  • 11 Retaining Walls
  • 30+ Overhead Sign Trusses and Overhead Bridge-Mounted Signings
  • Assistance in Roadway and Drainage work
  • Painting Contracts
Jane-Byrne (Circle) Interchange_HBM

HBM’s involvement extended to overseeing and designing the rehabilitation of retaining walls and developing plans for four key bridges within the project: two crossroads bridges, one interstate-to-interstate ramp, and one bypass ramp. HBM also played a pivotal role in designing new or evaluating existing overhead sign trusses and overhead bridge-mounted signage, holding the Designer of Record responsibility for these elements.

This project demanded extensive coordination and integration with AECOM and other sub-consultants, transcending the typical Designer of Record role. HBM actively participated in numerous design meetings, addressing roadway and structural aspects and constructability issues. The scope of work included aspects like safety considerations (guardrail, parapets, temporary barrier walls), profile grade lines, alignment requirements, drainage scuppers, drainage system design, existing and proposed utilities, and staged construction.

One of the significant challenges overcome during the project was the optimization of the structure depth and roadway profile for the I-290 EB to I-90/94 NB interchange ramp, ensuring it met minimum vertical clearance requirements above the I-90/94 NB and SB roadways while accommodating the existing I-90/94 NB to I-290 WB Flyover Ramp. Similarly, a comparable level of coordination and vertical profile optimization was necessary for the SB Taylor Street Bypass Ramp, balancing minimum vertical clearance above the I-290 WB roadway and existing CTA tracks while maintaining clearance beneath the previously constructed NW Flyover Ramp. Notably, the alignment of the bypass ramp had the structure situated between two adjacent bridges, presenting tight clearances and construction challenges.

Additionally, HBM’s scope of work included a Painting contract for the I-290/Congress Parkway structure, contributing to the comprehensive renovation of this critical transportation hub.

Jane-Byrne (Circle) Interchange_HBM
Jane-Byrne (Circle) Interchange_HBM

The Jane-Byrne Interchange reconstruction project showcases HBM Engineering Group's commitment to delivering innovative solutions and overcoming complex challenges in the realm of infrastructure and transportation design.