Project management system reduces costs, increases efficiency

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The Illinois Tollway is an award-winning transportation authority that maintains and operates more than 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 Illinois counties. When the $6.3 billion Congestion-Relief Program (CRP) was approved by the Tollway’s board of directors, stakeholders immediately sought to establish program controls for scheduling, cost estimating, value engineering, change order management, exception reporting and project management.

A significant priority was the selection and implementation of a web-based project management system that would result in greater individual and team accountability and provide efficient business processes. To speed up the selection and implementation process, the Tollway hired HNTB, an engineering, architecture and planning firm with experience providing web-based project management program services and knowledge of the toll road industry.

After an extensive evaluation process, the Tollway chose Proliance , a web-based project management solution from Meridian Systems, based on its scalability, data storage capacity via a universal filing system and ability to deliver the “3 A’s” necessary for building projects on time and on budget: access, accountability and audit.

Fast-Track Implementation

With CRP construction already under way, the Tollway needed to expedite the Proliance implementation. “We wanted Proliance to be live and running within 90 days,” said Edward Wilmes, the Tollway’s general manager. To meet this goal, the Tollway added information technology consulting firm Kristine Fallon Associates to its implementation team.

Functionality that needed to be operational within this fast-track timeframe included submittals; RFIs; issues; correspondence; non-conformance reports; daily activity reports; resident engineer daily diaries; file management; punch lists; drawings; review process management; and meeting minutes.

Eliminating Costly Delays

Now, a year and half later, the Tollway has more than 750 people using Proliance and has realized significant benefits while reaching major CRP project milestones. “The Tollway covers 286 miles and has many remote field offices,” Wilmes said. “Our web-based system allows everyone to operate in a fast-paced construction environment while accessing the same information in real-time. That is a huge benefit.”

This ability was particularly beneficial as the Tollway tackled one of the first CRP projects: the conversion of its entire toll system to open-road tolling (ORT). The project management solution expedited decision making, decreased communication time and reduced errors and rework, and the Tollway converted 20 toll plazas to ORT in just 22 months.

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