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Elk Grove Pedestrian Overpass is APWA Project of the Year

The new, safer connection provides a key crossing for pedestrian traffic

The Busse Woods Pedestrian Overpass, has been uniquely selected as a Small Cities/Rural Communities (SCRC) Project of the Year by the national American Public Works Association (APWA).The project, which constructed a new multi-use overpass over a six-lane arterial roadway in the Village of Elk Grove, Ill., increased the efficiency of traffic along the roadway and created a safe passage for pedestrians traveling the Busse Woods Trail system.

The Busse Woods trail system has long been recognized by the Village of Elk Grove, and the entire region, as a key asset to the residential and business communities for recreational and commuter travel. The Village was instrumental in constructing two other overpasses to provide safe connection for the Busse Woods Trail. With the assistance of Congressman Peter Roskam, the Village was able to secure federal funding to develop the last link completing the trail with the utmost safety.

The trail originally crossed Illinois Route 72 (Higgins Road) at the intersection of Interstate 290 Northbound Frontage Road causing safety concerns for the Village of Elk Grove and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The roadway carries 34,100 vehicles daily and the trail draws more than 2.5 million visitors a year, an attendance volume greater than Yellowstone National Park. The large pedestrian population trying to cross against heavy traffic volumes running at high vehicular speeds created hazardous conditions that needed to be addressed. In fact, a bicyclist was struck by a car at that intersection just two months prior.

Martam Construction, Inc., was selected as the prime contractor and TranSystems, an engineering and consulting firm, was the prime consultant implementing the new configuration. Construction began mid-July 2013 and was completed in mid-November 2013, just four short months later. Throughout the duration of the project, the project team was conscientious of the impacts of construction on the environment doing their best to maximize green space, and minimize environmental impacts on the local trees and prairie. A tree survey was conducted to identify high quality trees to be avoided and protected. Proper implementation of design solutions was followed, including pruning of roots and establishing tree protection zones.

The new structure eliminated a hazardous at-grade crossing and connected the northern and southern portions of the heavily used 11.2-mile long trail providing a safe, comfortable experience for trail users.

“The project met and exceeded several measures in the areas of safety, attention to environmental concerns, effectiveness of community relations, and the management of equipment and oversized structures delivery within space and time constraints. It drew special notice however for its robust coordination across multiple agencies and sets of stakeholders, sometimes with varying interests,” said Todd Bright, Vice President.

The Busse Woods Pedestrian Overpass is being recognized in the SCRC category and was judged by APWA representatives on safety performance, environmental considerations, community relations, and unique accomplishments.

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