Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area Improvements
In late 1999, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) acquired 1,662 acres of reclaimed strip mine land from ComEd via the Open Land Trust Program. The lands and lakes areas, known as the “South Unit”, are used for fishing and hunting programs. While the water quality and fishing in the land-locked lakes provides a high-quality experience, the access and amenities to the lakes has remained limited since the park’s acquisition.
Ponderosa and Eagle Lakes are the most popular lakes within the park, but current gravel boat ramps have eroded extensively, and washouts make usage of the ramps difficult. Current access to the park consists of unimproved and minimally improved roads developed by private sportsman’s clubs that formally leased portions of the area from ComEd. The adjacent wooden docks have reached their end-of-life capacity after years of continuous usage. The absence of restroom facilities and accessible accommodations limits more optimal use of the site. Additionally, in recent years, canoe and kayak enthusiasts discovered the lakes utilizing the lakes’ unimproved canoe launch areas. To open the site for greater public access; improved area access roads, parking lots, boat launch ramps, kayak/canoe launch improvements, and vault toilets needed to be constructed.
The project scope included the construction of 20-foot-wide asphalt surface internal circulation roads leading to boat launch areas with an approximate total length of 2,600 feet. Also included was the construction of three (3) separate single-lane concrete boat launch ramps (one at Eagle Lake and two at Ponderosa Lake), each 15’W by 60’L. Each boat ramp assembly includes a concrete walk approach and a 6’W gangway and floating dock; one boat ramp will be ADA accessible. Constructed two (2) asphalt surface vehicle-trailer parking lots with a total of 24 spaces 10’W by 40’L and two (2) accessible spaces 16’W by 40’L. Provided site clearing and phragmite removal, demolition of existing gravel ramps and appurtenances, new concrete boat ramps, floating docks, gates and signage, excavation, geotextile fabric, asphalt surfacing, 20’W x 230’L additional pull off paving for kayak/canoe launch improvements, and other incidental items to complete the project.
IEI provided civil engineering services for this project, coordinating with the DNR, Capital Development Board (CDB), Essex Township, Kankakee County, US Army Corps, and the sub-consultants. Consisting of Schematic and Final Construction Documents, which included a site/paving plan, grading/drainage plan, striping plan and sediment and erosion control plan for the parking lots, roadway, and the boat launches. IEI also provided schematic and final estimates of quantities, cost estimates and final specifications. IEI’s structural team provided support design for a concrete abutment for one ADA floating dock.
- Civil Site
- Construction Inspection
- Water Management
Illinois Department of Natural Resources