Students working with IDOT to create memorial

The Illinois Department of Transportation has offered the civil engineering and construction department a unique opportunity.

“IDOT approached the CEC department and asked if Bradley students would like to get involved in designing [a] memorial wall for fallen IDOT employees,” American Society of Civil Engineers President Drew Dragoo said. “With this great opportunity to work on this important project, the [Association of General Contractors and the American Society of Civil Engineers] worked together to develop designs for the memorial wall right away.”

The memorial will be dedicated to all transportation workers that fall under IDOT, Association of General Contractors President Kyle Blais said.

“The IDOT memorial is a memorial ‘in honor of those men and women who have given their lives while serving this great state.’ Most people associate IDOT with roadways, but it also includes railways, waterways and airways,” he said. “The project was brought to us by [Bradley faculty members Instructor of Civil Engineering and Construction Burl George] and [Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Technology Kalikathan Krishnamoorthi] who heard about a design competition that IDOT was going to hold for Illinois Universities.”

Blais said he, junior construction major Rob Witt, Dragoo, Krishnamoorthi and George went to Springfield to get more information about the competition.

“Once there, IDOT’s Deputy Director of Highways Aaron Weatherholt informed us that they were going to rely solely on Bradley to come up with a creative design for the memorial,” he said. “We were shown the location [where] they wanted to have it built, and the only stipulations they gave us were that they wanted to have some type of wall to engrave the names of those killed on job sites and that we had to work around two existing flag poles.”

Members of AGC and ASCE are currently working on designs for the memorial, Dragoo said.

“AGC and ASCE have put together two designs for the IDOT Fallen Worker Memorial Wall,” he said. “Student officers and CEC students have presented ideas that we feel are best fit for the memorial wall.

“During the process of working on the designs, initial preliminary sketches were presented at a meeting [between AGC and ASCE]. Thereafter, the sketches were drawn in AutoCAD with greater detail and to scale.

“Finally, a list of materials to be used for various components of the memorial was developed. All of this material was sent to IDOT last week.”

Blais said AGC and ASCE are currently waiting to hear back from IDOT to plan their next step.

“As of right now we’re just waiting to hear back from them and see what kind of feedback they have for us,” he said. “They may be happy with one of the two designs as is and run with it, they may ask us to make some minor changes and adjustments or they might request all new designs and send us straight back to the drawing board. However we are very pleased with our designs and are confident that IDOT will be receptive to our ideas as well.”