Ridgefield Trace Shared Use Path
Baxter & Woodman assisted the McHenry County Conservation District with Phase I/II design and Phase III construction engineering services for a $2 million federally funded shared-use path between the cities of Crystal Lake and Woodstock. The path spans over nine miles and provides a connection with the Conservation District’s 26-mile Prairie Trail and other trail networks.
The first segment is a two-mile trail section consisting of a bituminous concrete surface on an aggregate base with 2-foot earth shoulders, with site restoration and drainage modifications. The path crossed several wetland areas, roadways under various jurisdictions, railroad-roadway crossings, and is located immediately adjacent to several home sites and cemeteries. Consideration of the impact to these areas, and each trail crossing location, was critical and was evaluated in the Phase I report. Wetland mitigation and possible compensatory storage sites were determined. Required permits for the bike/pedestrian path construction were applied for during the Phase I process. Work included assessment of issues, budgeting, and segment prioritization.
Baxter & Woodman designed and coordinated construction of the second 1-mile segment with the Walkup Road improvements. The trail included installation of a Pedestrian Hybrid Signal at Walkup Road, and a pedestrian railroad crossing at Oak Street was later constructed in 2018. The third segment of the path opened in 2019 after installation of the pedestrian gates at the Union Pacific RR crossing.
Project activities were successfully coordinated with various public/private landowners and regulatory agencies, including the City of Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake Park District, McHenry County Division of Transportation, Commonwealth Edison, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The District received $860,000 in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds and $934,930 in Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program funds.