Planners from Chicago’s Department of Transportation, the CTA and the City of Chicago have come up with a plan to speed bus traffic while supporting pedestrians, bicyclists and car traffic, and we from Prairie Materials, a company owned by Votorantim Cimentos, are providing the ready-mix needed to build these lanes.
The project is known as LoopLink, a $31.8-million project that creates dedicated bus lanes on four arterial streets, where buses will make limited stops at train-like stations along the way. New, separated bike lanes on three of the routes will move cyclists safely through the Loop.
Traffic congestion causes real misery for commuters who rely on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses that travel between train stations in the city’s West Loop and the Michigan Avenue business district. The buses make more than 1,000 trips across the Loop daily – and with rush-hour speeds as slow as 3 miles per hour, an 8-block trip can take a up to 45 minutes.
Prairie Yard 33 on Chicago’s near Southwest Side, one of our companies in North America, produced the integrally colored mix for the new lanes. Since the pigment comes in powder form, dialing in the correct amount of water was critical to maintaining required slump and air entrainment at the job site. No water could be added on site, since it would dilute the color, due to that specification, Prairie assigned four to six dedicated drivers and trucks to each of the 220-to-260-yard pours to assure careful attention to all Quality Control requirements.
Most placements were set for Saturdays and evenings to avoid traffic and inconvenience to commuters. The new east-west lanes will open this September, with dedicated lanes on north-south routes set for completion in 2016.
These lanes are an example of our presence in infrastructural projects that bring benefits to the communities that we are part of. Our commitment to quality reflects in the durations of our products, that build solutions made to last.