Ciorba Wins APWA Illinois Chapter 2024 Overall Public Works Project of the Year Award

The American Public Works Association Illinois Chapter announced its Excellence Award winners for 2024, selecting Ciorba for the Bob Michel Bridge Rehabilitation: Connecting Communities Overall Public Works Project of the Year Award, along with another award in the Category: Transportation ($5 million but less than $25 million).

Ciorba Group performed preliminary engineering and final design services for the rehabilitation and geometric improvements to the Bob Michel bridge over the Illinois River, a main connection between Peoria and East Peoria in a heavily traveled urban setting.

Built in 1993, the 20-span structure consisting of 3 steel plate girder main spans and 17 concrete girder approach spans was due for a deck rehabilitation, and with recent developments at downtown Peoria’s Warehouse District and East Peoria’s Levee District, the timing was right to improve the accommodation for pedestrians and bicyclists. The half-mile-long bridge carries over 17,000 vehicles per day over the Illinois River and is one of six bridges that crosses the Illinois River in the Peoria metro region, connecting Peoria and Tazewell counties.

It is currently the only bridge over the Illinois River that can accommodate pedestrian and bicyclist traffic between Peoria and East Peoria, making this a significant crossing for the community.  The project goal was to extend the life of the bridge and provide a safer crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists. The final design was completed for the reconfiguration of the bridge to add a barrier separated 14-foot-wide multi-use path to one side of the bridge.  This project was a result of the Rebuild Illinois capital program.  Combining the needed bridge maintenance with regional interest to improve the pedestrian and bicycle accommodations on the bridge, the Bob Michel project is a great asset to the multi-modal transportation system in the greater Peoria Area.  The project required extensive local public agency involvement. The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in March 2023 but remained open to pedestrians and bicyclists during construction. The project was completed and opened to traffic in late December 2023.