RAILS TO TRAILS OVER THE ROCK RIVER

ProjectRailstoTrails
  • LOCATION: Rockford, IL
  • CLIENT: City of Rockford
  • CONSTRUCTION COST: $1,500,000
  • SCOPE OF WORK: Route and Topographic Survey, Existing Railroad Bridge Analysis, Project Development Report, Underwater Pier Inspection, TS&L, Plans, Specifications, Lighting Design, Permit Acquisition, Multi-Use Path Design, Construction Inspection, Documentation & Layout
  • PROJECT COMPLETION: Completed – 2016
  • WHA TEAM: Brian Converse, P.E., S.E., Corey Buck, P.E., Dale Hamilton, P.E., Tim Anderson, Mike Queckboerner

Phase:  I, II, & III

The City of Rockford came to Willett, Hofmann & Associates, Inc. in 2013 for assistance in the submittal of an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant application.  The application was successful and subsequently WHA was hired to design the conversion of a 900 ft. 1914 railroad bridge over the Rock River to a pedestrian path.  The path connects residential and commercial areas on both sides of the river.  WHA performed a structural analysis of the piers and bridge members to determine the integrity of the structure for use as a pedestrian bridge.  An underwater pier analysis was performed as a part of the project and a new concrete deck was poured on the structure after removing the ties and rail.  Bump outs were created for pedestrians to rest, enjoy the view, or fish.  Lighting and a rustic looking handrail were designed to blend in with the style and color of the existing structure.  Preserving the railroad bridge not only provides tourists and residents a chance to visit history, it is also now a functional bridge for the traveling public and a vital link to local and regional path systems.  This project was a 2017 ACEC Merit Award Winner.