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New ICT, IDOT agreement to enhance Illinois mobility

5/5/2020 McCall Macomber

Illinois Department of Transportation has extended a three-year, $20 million agreement with Illinois Center for Transportation for their joint research program.

The two-year $13.9M extension will boost their current contract to June 2022. During this period, ICT and IDOT will continue to focus on the latest transportation issues in Illinois and beyond.

At the top of their list? Enhancing the design and preservation of roads and bridges while boosting traveler safety, reducing congestion, and preparing for the future of connected and autonomous vehicles.

“IDOT has been able to utilize this cooperative program to see improvements with our policies by incorporating new materials and processes or to positively impact environmental issues,” said LaDonna Rowden, IDOT’s bureau chief of research.

“At the same time, ICT and U of I are seeing the benefits of staying on the cutting edge of engineering with academics and exposing their students to real-world issues,” she added.

For the past 15 years, the two entities have brought together public servants along with industry and academic professionals to improve the safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability of transportation.

Altogether, they’ve completed over 250 joint projects, with 53 slated to be in progress by this summer.

That’s something Imad Al-Qadi, ICT director and University of Illinois Bliss Professor of Engineering, can hardly wait to start.

“We’re working together on many exciting projects to advance mobility,” he said. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with IDOT to lead and implement the latest developments in transportation.”

“Working with other universities and the private sector has resulted in breakthrough research that has a high impact at the state, national and international levels,” he added. “The outcome to date has been implemented in various mobility areas, including new materials, sustainability, safety, earthquake-resistant structures, drones, policy, and autonomous and connected vehicles.”

Rowden looks forward to seeing how the pair can continue enhancing transportation in Illinois.

“As IDOT and ICT continue our work together, we believe that the best is yet to come,” she said.