Not everyone compares Chicago to Paris, but for those who have visited both cities, the double decks of Wacker Drive that follow the river into the city’s downtown can resemble the charms of the Seine River that flows through the City of Light.

Now, first-term Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is intent on making Chicago literally the City of Lights with an ambitious competition by artists, architects and engineers to design innovative lighting along the river, under its series of bascule bridges that span the river at every downtown street, and on nearby landmarks to illuminate the evenings and create a tourist destination.

At Milestone Contractors L.P., employees depend on each other to get the job done right, President CJ Potts says. “It’s about not letting each other fail,” he declares. “We have to lift each other up to a new level every day.”

Indianapolis-based Milestone provides asphalt paving, asphalt sales, concrete paving, miscellaneous concrete services, underground water, storm and sewer installation, and grading and bridge construction services. Founders Bob Studler and Harry and Oscar Meshberger started the company in 1937 as Meshberger Stone.

Georgia’s Cherokee County is in the middle of a growth spurt. As a result, the Cherokee County School District has needed to address capacity issues at the county’s schools. In the last few years, it has been reshaping its footprint to better serve its students and teachers.

“This is a suburban Atlanta bedroom community,” Assistant Superintendent William Sebring says. “We’ve seen quite a bit of growth in the area, almost extensively residential. When the economy and real estate market are strong, that impacts residential growth and the school district. In the last 16 years, we’ve built 17 new schools.”

The Zoo Interchange, named for its proximity to the Milwaukee County Zoo, was build in 1963 as one of the first Interstate Highway Projects in Wisconsin. A total of 350,000 vehicles travel on the interchange daily located in the center of the state transport system. 

The interchange forms the junction of I-94, I-894 and US 45.

The freeway interchange’s design was innovative in the early 1960s. It features ramps on both sides of the road with drivers turning left exiting on left ramps and those turning right exiting on right side ramps. 

As time went by, however, it was determined this design leads to excessive merging and has since become obsolete. The antiquated design, along with aging structures, necessitated the repair project.  

For many years, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was the world’s busiest airport until Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta took the title. Now, O’Hare wants to regain that status, and Plote Construction Inc. is helping as it works on a portion of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP).

The company is a subcontractor for Turner Construction Co., Acura Construction and Lindahl. Its portion of the project is the paving of a 7,500-foot by 150-foot runway, a 75-foot parallel taxiway, and connecting taxiway.  “They’ll be able to do multiple landings and takeoffs at the same time,” Plote Construction President Dan Plote says.

An average of 70,000 people travel over the Patroon Island Bridge every day. The bridge, which crosses over the Hudson River between New York’s Albany and Rensselaer counties, is a heavily used commuter route that carries Interstate 90. It also is an important connection to Interstate 787 and two other connections via the 6a interchange bridges crisscrossing beneath the Patroon Island Bridge. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says keeping the “bridge and interchange safe and in a state of good repair for those who rely on it every day” is vital to the community. Last year, the state contracted Halmar International and A. Servidone-B. Anthony Construction Corp. as the joint-venture contractors responsible for rehabilitating the Patroon Island Bridge and its associated interchanges. 

Ghilotti Bros. Inc. (GBI) has a storied history. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014 and with roots that extend from California to South Africa and Italy, the company has grown into a multimillion-dollar firm and one of the largest construction industry employers in Northern California. 

Today, Ghilotti Bros. is under the third generation of Ghilotti family ownership. It is based in San Rafael, Calif., and it employs more than 275 people working in 11 counties and generating annual revenues in excess of $100 million per year.

Airports can be some of the most challenging environments for a contractor to work in or around. Not only is the work necessarily highly specialized, but it is practically impossible for a major airport to close down entirely, meaning contractors have to work around a lot of vital activity. Taking on a major airport expansion and/or modernization project requires a project team that has the technical chops but also the experience of working in such a complex and challenging environment. 

In Charleston, S.C., one such project is taking place at the Charleston International Airport, which services nearly 3 million travelers every year. The airport, built in 1985, is receiving a significant expansion and upgrade to modernize its facilities and provide greater capacity to the airlines that operate out of it. The $189 million Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP) is expected to transform Charleston International Airport into a model facility for the region and the rest of the nation, according to the Charleston County Aviation Authority. 

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