The newly installed barrier wall safely separates pedestrians from passing vehicles.
Photo: Baxter and Woodman The newly installed barrier wall safely separates pedestrians from passing vehicles.

Thanks to a newly constructed sidewalk in Algonquin Township, Ill., pedestrians along U.S. Route 14 between the villages of Cary and Fox River Grove will have a safer passageway.

The project epitomized the strong sense of community between Algonquin Township and the villages of Cary and Fox River Grove. Although separated by the Fox River, both villages, in conjunction with the township, routinely function as one entity to best serve the needs of their entire local community.

“The importance of this project is that it connects two growing villages with a sidewalk alongside an extremely busy U.S. highway. The area high school is in the village of Cary and many children from Fox River Grove and Cary travel by foot and by bicycle daily,” said Dianne Klemm, Algonquin Township supervisor.

As the lead agency, Algonquin Township applied for and secured federal funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality reimbursable fund program for the nearly $1 million project. The villages of Cary and Fox River Grove supported the project by assigning municipal staff and funding most of the local match costs for the portions of the project under their jurisdiction.

This project was completed within budget and ahead of schedule as a result of the close coordination between Algonquin Township; the villages of Cary and Fox River Grove; Illinois DOT(IDOT); the contractor, Alliances Contractors Inc.; the consulting engineers, Baxter & Woodman Inc.; and the utility companies of Commonwealth Edison, SBC, and Comcast Cable Communications.

The goal of the project was to improve pedestrian safety adjacent to a busy corridor and all agencies involved worked cooperatively to meet this goal. During the design stages, the agencies and consultant engineer worked together with IDOT to apply current traffic control standards.

Because protecting the environment was a high priority, best management practices for erosion control were used in accordance with the appropriate IDOTstandards. Every effort was made to preserve vegetation along the project route that acts as a screen/buffer between the busy U.S. Route 14 corridor and neighboring homes.

One of the most challenging aspects of the project was overcoming the site's narrow right of way and extremely steep descending slopes, according to John V. Ambrose, P.E., vice president of transportation of Baxter & Woodman. The firm proposed a concrete land bridge using micro piles with a cast-in-place concrete deck, which was less expensive than a steel sheet piling retaining wall system.

Keeping all of the multiple agencies informed was accomplished by bi-monthly meetings at the lead agencies' offices. Meanwhile, the township and both villages kept the community informed of the project's progress through updates at monthly board meetings and through the local press.

“It could have been a challenge working with so many units of government,” said Klemm. “Baxter & Woodman was involved in every meeting at every step and their communication skills kept each of us fully aware of the issues. Good communications allowed all of us to complete a very worthwhile project with the least amount of stress possible.”

Algonquin Township pedestrian walk

Project completion date: June 30, 2005

Total cost: $906,248

AEC firm: Baxter & Woodman Inc.

Location: Algonquin Township, Ill.

Neat stat: The project was completed ahead of schedule.