Before the completion of Red Gate Road Bridge, IL Route 64 (Main Street) served as St. Charles’ only major east-west river crossing. As a result, the downtown area was congested, exceeding the road’s capacity by 50% and impacting economic opportunities for the local community and the region. With a lack of river crossing capacity throughout the county for over 30,000 vehicles per day, building another crossing to extend Red Gate Road across the Fox River proved pivotal to the safety and economic growth of the community.
The project corridor was carefully chosen to literally thread through the surrounding forest preserves and nationally protected wetlands, avoiding impacts while connecting the resources via cleared paths. Despite this challenge, the project was seen as a means to actually enhance the environment. Six hundred new hard wood and evergreen trees were planted after construction was completed to offset the trees that had to be cleared, leaving the environment in better shape than when the project began.
Benesch provided final design and construction management for the new corridor, which extended Red Gate Road by 3,200 feet via a new 1,140-foot-long, eight-span structure over the river. With its innovative, cable-stayed pedestrian bridge suspended beneath the roadway, the new bridge is the signature element of the corridor. The suspended pedestrian bridge was designed with cantilevered look-outs at mid-span over the river, and ties into a new multi-use trail and elevated timber boardwalk, providing further connectivity to the Kane County Forest Preserve and the Fox River Trail. The project also enhanced utility service capacity throughout the area with an extensive electrical duct bank system on the bridge and a new watermain crossing beneath the river.
Through the implementation of innovative engineering techniques and a steadfast commitment to enhancing the surrounding environment, Benesch was able to deliver a new roadway system that brings the beauty of the Fox River even closer to the residents of St. Charles.