The City of Highland, Illinois and Oates Associates received a Special Achievement Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Illinois for the Veterans Honor Parkway project. The ACEC competition recognizes firms for projects that demonstrate innovation, achievement and value.  A Special Achievement Award is given to projects worthy of special recognition for achieving engineering excellence.

Veterans Honor Parkway provides a by-pass on the northeast side of Highland – connecting major routes and preventing traffic congestion. The route consists of a new roadway that includes a two-span bridge over the CSXT Railroad, a fully-actuated traffic signal at US Route 40, bike lanes, and a shared-use path.

With Veterans Honor Parkway providing new access to undeveloped land, the City of Highland embarked on the creation of a new 13 acre community park – Dennis H. Rinderer Park. Features include an all-inclusive playground, exercise stations, a splash pad, a community garden, a dog park, pavilions and restroom facilities.

But the 1.7 mile corridor is more than a connecting roadway. It is a tribute to Highland veterans who tragically lost their lives while serving their nation.  Banners are suspended from light poles along the roadway and prominently display a photo of the veteran and vital information in honor of the veterans.  Kiosks along the path and throughout the park feature a biography and image of each hero on a bronze plaque, including their Highland heritage, deployments, and accomplishments.

Oates Associates worked with City officials and residents to develop and implement their vision and goals for the corridor.