Doctor Marsh Prairie Path

The Doctor Marsh improvements provide a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the beauty of this natural area in an urban setting. A 900-foot boardwalk winds through a wetland, providing close-up views of the plants and animals that reside there. The 45-foot bridge spans Spring Creek, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The addition of a 20-foot by 20-foot metal frame gazebo peaking at a height of 14 feet creates space for wildlife viewing. Colorful, informative signs enhance public education about the area’s habitat and the importance of native plants.

The boardwalk was built using minimal disturbance techniques, including the placement of mats to minimize the impact on the wetland ecosystem during construction. Diamond piers were chosen as the foundation for the boardwalk, resulting in only two cubic yards of disturbance per pier. The boardwalk itself features Trex composite decking for low maintenance, with a pretreated railing and aluminum safety fencing to safeguard visitors.

As the boardwalk was being constructed, concrete was poured for the bridge abutments. The bridge was constructed using a one-piece design, which made it possible to install without the use of heavy equipment. A ConTech bridge, spanning 45 feet and eight feet wide, was selected as a cost-effective and suitable solution for the location.
Once the boardwalk and bridge were in place, attention turned to construction of the 17-space parking lot and aggregate path leading to the bridge and gazebo. Retention basins and compensatory storage areas were planted with native seed to add aesthetic appeal.

Design of the $756,000 project began in February of 2022, with construction getting underway in January of 2023. The project was completed within six months, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in July of 2023 to celebrate the completion of the improvements. The Doctor Marsh Prairie Path improvement project was recognized with a 2024 APWA-IL Project of the Year Award from the Chicago Metro Southwest Branch.

Orland Park, IL

Site Improvement

2024 APWA-IL Project of the Year - Chicago Metro Southwest Branch