Along with reconstructing roadways to be safer and more efficient, the Wacker Drive reconstruction incorporated a number of green elements and practices.
The Congress Parkway Interchange reconstruction created a new three-acre, publicly accessible park between Franklin and Wells. Additional green space was created at Upper Wacker Drive by replacing ramps to Lower Wacker at Jackson, Adams and Washington with landscaped medians.
Other green elements include:
- LED traffic signals, which last longer and are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs
- A stormwater management system designed to direct the “first flush” – the most polluted runoff during a storm – into the combined sewer system instead of the Chicago River
- Use of recycled steel and concrete in construction
During the construction phase, crews followed several green practices to reduce and prevent pollution, including:
- Soil and sediment control
- Vehicle emissions control and idling restrictions
- Use of windscreens to contain/limit dust and debris
- Recycling construction and demolition debris
- Reusing materials when possible