Thursday, July 19, 2012

Route 176 Underpass Progress

The underpass beneath Route 176 in Wauconda, just east of Fairfield Road, for the Fort Hill Trail re-route, is well underway now as seen below. Forms for the walls are up, forms for the 2 wing walls are being erected, and much of the earth removal is completed as seen in the 2 photos below taken last week and yeserday (click to enlarge.)

When the underpass is opened, the Fort Hill Trail will start at the winter sports area parking lot on Fairfield south of 176, wind through the forest, proceed through this tunnel, then continue as it currently does along the dog exercise area, up into the former Four Winds Golf Course, over to Gilmer Road and beneath it using the underpass constructed last year, and into Ray Lake Forest Preserve which offers a 3.5 mile trail from the tunnel, around the 2.25 mile loop, and back to the tunnel.

When the north side of the tunnel shown above is completed, Route 176 traffic will be moved onto this half of the tunnel, and work will begin on the other half of the underpass.  Unfortunately, trail users will not have a front-row seat to watch the progress as we do now on this half!

Work is concurrently underway on a second underpass west of Fairfield Road that will re-route the Millennium Trail safely beneath Route 176.  All the earth removal work has been done over there and work has begun on the foundations, but there is no place to stop and take photos of that phase of the construction.

Eventually, the Fort Hill Trail will be extended east to Fremont Road, then north over to Peterson Road, and east along Peterson to the Lake County Fairgrounds, then north to the Prairie Crossing community.

A map of the trail/road renovations at Lakewood Forest Preserve (176 and Fairfield) is available here.

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