Fox River Trail at Raymond Street

Firm: Alfred Benesch & Company

Other Consultants:

Owner: Forest Preserve District of Kane County

Description: After eight years without a trail connection, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County sought to build a new bicycle and pedestrian connection to the Fox River Trail at Raymond Street. After two failed attempts to build the trail along Poplar Creek – and two subsequent washouts by flooding – they enlisted Alfred Benesch & Company (Benesch) to provide construction management for a long-term solution to restore the link between the Fox River Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path with a tunnel underpass beneath the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks. This solution included a number of complex challenges including maintaining proper drainage, sediment control and maintaining rail service at all times. Due to the proximity of the adjacent floodplain, some of the soils on the project were in poor condition. Great care had to be taken to ensure sediments did not leave the site, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall. Solutions to stabilize the soils had to be developed before work could proceed, so the team created a sturdy foundation for the the project to succeed and last. To maintain UPRR freight traffic, a track monitoring plan was implemented. Surveyors checked the three-dimensional location of all six rails in several locations to monitor any movement in the tracks. This information was relayed to UPRR personnel to determine when any resurfacing was required so tracks could remain operational. The contractor, resident engineer, and UPRR collaborated to develop multiple grouting plans to successfully stabilize the railroad embankment to allow the installation of the Temporary Soil Retention System (TSRS). Ultimately, the challenges were overcome and the underpass solution not only provided long-term sustainability and cost benefits but enhanced the regional bicycle network and restored connectivity between the Illinois Prairie Path and the Fox River Trail.

Forest Preserve District of Kane County