Civiltech joined Baxter & Woodman to bring a highly experienced and skilled Construction Engineering team to the $47 million Randall Road Reconstruction Project for the McHenry County Department of Transportation. The project involved reconstructing approximately 1.5 miles of a heavily traveled commercial stretch of roadway. The project, stretching from Harnish Drive to Polaris Drive, included 6 intersections, one of which is the large and busy intersection of Randall Road and Algonquin Road. In addition to roadway reconstruction, the project included a pedestrian underpass, retaining wall construction, a new boardwalk, drainage improvements, street light and traffic signal installation, and new pavement markings and signings.

While a project of this size and complexity required specialized experience, ingenuity, and creativity, a critical component for a successful project outcome was the right team, dedicated staffing resources, and, most importantly, outstanding collaboration. Civiltech provided the Resident Engineer (R.E.) bringing large project experience, who worked closely with Baxter & Woodman’s Assistant Resident Engineer who brought vast experience with McHenry County projects. These R.E.’s oversaw the entire project and led a large cadre of inspectors and supporting technicians who processed up to $100K of work daily.

The Inspectors, supplied by both Civiltech and Baxter & Woodman, were assigned a crew that would tackle a specific project area or component. Through most of the project, 6 to 7 crews could be onsite at any one time. Managing the multiple crews involved extensive up-front organization by the R.E.’s as well as a strong work-flow process ensuring proper inspection and material testing were completed and required paperwork efficiently and correctly executed.

In addition to managing such a large team of inspectors and technicians, the R.E. and Assistant R.E. faced other interesting challenges including utility coordination and relocation. The project involved extensive utility work, and the R.E.’s were faced with the challenge of keeping the utility work a step ahead of the construction activities and out of the way of the contractor, thus ensuring a critical path of construction activity was clear of utility work.

Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) is always a challenge on a busy commercial thoroughfare – the challenge is to provide as much clear travel area as possible while still providing the contractors adequate and safe room to do their work. On this project, the MOT coordination was additionally difficult due to the installation of concrete pavement which is installed in individual panels. Also, the R.E.’s needed to work with local businesses to coordinate access to their facilities when impacted by construction activities. The team recognized an opportunity to complete more construction in a shorter amount of time. They were able to adjust the traffic stages due to the lighter traffic created by the Covid pandemic which allowed the permanent closure of extra lanes on Algonquin Road.

Public communication and coordination is critical on a large projects such as this. A website dedicated to the project was maintained, and the team had an email distribution list to allow them to communicate with businesses as they were impacted by the construction. The marketing team and a handful of inspectors would canvas the businesses at the beginning of a large section of work to ensure everyone was informed about impacts to their businesses. The R.E.’s also worked to keep the impacted municipalities and their emergency forces updated on the project activity.

Collaboration was the key to a successful project outcome. Civiltech’s Resident Engineer and Baxter & Woodman’s Assistant Resident Engineer, together with a large team of inspectors worked together seamlessly to execute this large and complex improvement. The large project also involved collaboration with the contractor, McHenry County Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, the Villages of Lake in the Hills and Algonquin, and the many businesses impacted by the project.