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Huntley Interchange Recognized in National Competition

The Oak Park, Ill.-based team of Huff & Huff, Inc., and GRAEF has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 49th annual Engineering Excellence Awards for designing the Illinois Route 47/Interstate 90 interchange in Huntley, Ill.

The unique interchange was created to help the Illinois Tollway evaluate both current and emerging “green infrastructure” practices to incorporate into future designs. Sustainable features include permeable pavement on the shoulder of one ramp to enhance storm water infiltration; warm-mix asphalt pavement; LED lighting; control buildings equipped with geothermal energy systems, and vegetated trellises; advanced storm water facilities; and constructed wetlands.

The project team also studied potential concepts for their long-term environmental and economic benefits. The sustainable features at the interchange have so far yielded a savings of 34,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, while at the same time significantly improving water quality.

The project is among 170 engineering projects throughout the nation and around the world recognized by ACEC as preeminent engineering achievements and eligible for one of the top 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards. Judging for the Engineering Excellence Awards—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”—took place in February and was conducted by a panel of more than 30 engineers, architects, government officials, media members, and academics. Awards criteria include uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, complexity, and success in meeting goals.

Final winners, including 16 Honor Awards, eight Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement, will be announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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