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​​​​​​Kirk Road over the Union Pacific Railroad

Project History

Kirk Road is a Strategic Regional Arterial that, in the area of study, spans over the Union Pacific Railroad between Illinois Route 38 and Cherry Lane located in Geneva, Illinois. The bridge is in need of rehabilitation and a Phase I study is being conducted to investigate several design alternatives. In order to develop each alternative, geometric, community, and environmental impacts, including wetlands and special waste, are carefully being considered. Public involvement, including correspondence with the railroad, the City of Geneva, business and land owners, and the general public, is also being performed to garner additional input.

The Kirk Road bridge is situated between Cherry Lane and Illinois Route 38 and carries Kirk Road over the Union Pacific Railroad, Reed Road, and White’s Creek. The 18-span bridge is divided into four separate, structural “units” and is 1373-feet in length from back to back of abutments.

There are currently four 12-foot through lanes, a 3-foot raised median, and 2.75-foot shoulders on the bridge. South of the bridge, Kirk Road is hot-mix asphalt (HMA) roadway with a flush median varying in width. North of the bridge, Kirk Road is a portland cement concrete (PCC) roadway with a raised curb and brick stamped median also varying in width. Type B-6.24 curb and gutter runs along the median from the intersection at Illinois Route 38 to the intersection at Cherry Lane. There are no sidewalks or shared use paths within the project limits. Seven primary alternatives were considered. Each alternative considered provisions to eliminate the current design deficiencies as well as reduce future maintenance of the bridge.

Although the project was initiated to address the structural deficiencies of the bridge, Kane County has future plans to widen Kirk Road in this area. As such, widening alternatives are also being considered as part of the study. Widening alternatives will naturally affect the existing profile, approach roadway, and consequently the intersections at Cherry Lane and IL 38. The standards referenced are the Bureau of Local Roads Manual, Bureau of Bridges and Structures Bridge Manual, and the Bureau of Design and Environment Manual.

In addition to the roadway deficiencies, the bridge deck is in need of replacement. Additionally, based on current design criteria, the bridge beams are overstressed in some locations. The bridge deficiencies are outlined in the Bridge Condition Report and a Technical Memorandum dated April 4, 2014.

Alternative 4 was selected as the preliminary preferred alternative and includes:

  • Six 12-foot lanes (three in each direction)
  • 2-foot shoulders
  • 8-foot median
  • Bike path

Alternative 4 consists of widening the deck by using two smaller bridge sections and will utilize mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls along the roadway for added support. The new bridge sections will be constructed over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and over Reed Road. In this alternative, the bridge piers will be abandoned and embankment will be used to fill the area not under the spans of bridge. MSE walls will be constructed along the edge of the roadway and in front of the new abutments of the bridges. Widening will be done in each direction about the centerline of the existing roadway. However, the small bridge spans add flexibility to the designs so that the roadway section of Kirk Road may be realigned to reduce property impacts.

The median width at the start of the dual left-turn lane taper will be increased to 32 feet so the width will match the intersection layout at Illinois Route 38 (i.e. 24 foot dual left-turn lanes and 8 foot median). The median width on the bridge will be tapered to down 8 feet. Rather than using flared beams to support the varying roadway width, the bridge sections will be a constant width across. All new steel beams will be used in alternative 4. The Reed Road bridge (north most bridge) will be 108 feet wide and the Union Pacific bridge (south most bridge) will be 101 feet wide. The total length of the Reed Road bridge from approach to approach will be approximately 134 feet. The total length of the Union Pacific bridge from approach to approach will be approximately 150 feet.

The project limits include the south leg of the Illinois Route 38 intersection (i.e. roughly 832 feet north of the north most bridge approach slab) and the north leg of the Cherry Lane intersection (i.e. roughly 1143 feet south of the south most bridge approach slab). On the approach, the outside lanes in each direction could be used as extended right-turn lanes at each intersection until the Kirk Road corridor is reconstructed to 6 through lanes beyond the project limits. Reverse curves will be required at the north and south end of the project to match back into the existing roadway alignment. Grading will be done along Kirk Road to create a smooth transition from the new to existing roadway. Additionally, grading will be done to meet the MSE walls.

Please email Jennifer O’Connell at with any comments by 12/11/18

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