Aurora Transportation Center (ATC) Enhancements and Pedestrian Bridge Over the Fox River
- Local Governments
- Public Sector
- Bridges + Structures
- Aurora, Illinois
The improvements to the Aurora Transportation Center (ATC) and the construction of a new pedestrian bridge across the Fox River were not just a local project for the City of Aurora but an improvement to the quality of life for the Northeast Illinois region. The upgrades included in this project were designed to improve mobility and access to mass transit and be a catalyst for future economic growth within the City of Aurora.
The project was a vision of the late Mayor, Thomas Weisner, as he imagined a new era of development within the downtown area. The first step was to construct the River Edge park pavilion to provide a place where social and artistic events could be expressed and enjoyed. Due to the overwhelming success of River Edge park and the immediate access to Metra and PACE Bus service at the ATC, it was imperative that improvements were made to increase mobility and allow for additional growth. These improvements made Mayor Tom Weisner’s dream of a renewed downtown a reality.
Improvements to the Aurora Transportation Center and the construction of the new Pedestrian Bridge came with several weather-related challenges. There were substantial delays due to elevated river levels, which made the bridge inaccessible. The overall impact of these delays was ultimately minimized due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when several concerts were canceled at River Edge Park, and METRA ridership at the ATC fell significantly.
The most unique element of this project was the superstructure itself. The new bridge design incorporated a single hollow-box girder with multiple horizontal curves. Construction of this non-typical structure proved to be a challenge when it came to staging and sequencing of the deck pours. Additionally, installing the extensive lighting systems posed challenges in incorporating conduits and lighting elements within the deck and girder construction.
This project utilized sustainable solutions by implementing improvements that will provide long-term environmentally friendly options to the city. The charging stations at the Aurora Transportation Center offer the needed infrastructure for ever-growing hybrid and electric vehicle usage. Materials used during construction were repurposed and used as bank protection along the Fox River to minimize and eliminate erosion during flood events.
Mayor Tom Weisner’s vision was seen through to completion by Mayor Richard Irvin, creating improvements that will be enjoyed for generations to come. As the next generation recognizes the benefits of these improvements, they can gaze upon the illuminated pedestrian bridge and know that they are in the City of Lights.
American Council of Engineering Companies National Recognition Award
ACEC Illinois – Honor Award and Lincoln’s Grand Conceptor Award
APWA Public Works Project of the Year Fox Valley Branch and Chicago Metro Chapter
HR Green Construction Project of the Year