Kishwaukee Bike Path
The City of DeKalb was looking to connect the existing DeKalb Nature Trail located along the Kishwaukee River within the Northern Illinois University Campus to Prairie Park. Due to its location near the river and Union Pacific Railroad, extensive coordination and planning was needed to complete Phase I and II of this path.
HLR’s surveyors started with topographic and stream surveys of the Kishwaukee River and potential sites for the bike path alignment. Coordination with both the City of DeKalb and the DeKalb Park District was necessary to determine the best location for the proposed bike path to reduce tree and wetland impacts.
The location of the bike path was also controlled by fill within the regulatory floodway of the Kishwaukee River. Existing residences upstream from the Union Pacific and Illinois Route 38 bridge crossings of the Kishwaukee are susceptible to flooding. Our design engineers developed an iterative path location to balance both compensatory storage and riverine conveyance to ensure that the upstream water surface will not increase for various storm events. Our stormwater engineers utilized HEC-RAS hydraulic modeling to verify that the proposed crossing will not cause a hardship on the buildings prone to flooding.
HLR also designed an overhead structure above the proposed bike path to deflect any wayward ballast that might fall off the railroad bridge. This presented a challenge because the design needed to be rigid enough to resist wind loading between the long pier lengths. The overhead structure also needed to be located a minimum of 2 feet below the bottom of the railroad bridge and above the Kishwaukee River base flood (100-year) elevation.
Our professional land surveyors prepared all plats and legal descriptions for the necessary right-of-way needed to construct the proposed bike path. Our team also performed appraisals and negotiations for the two parcels where right-of-way was needed.
HLR completed a wetland delineation and report and obtained USACE wetland permits. A Preliminary Environmental Site Assessment (PESA) and tree survey were also completed.
City of DeKalb
Prairie Park to Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois