Division of Engineering's major improvement project at Conservation
World insures accessibility to the site, helping visitors with disabilities
as well as everyone else better enjoy the experience.
to the Department of Natural Resource's Conservation World exhibit
area at the 2004 Illinois State Fair are in for a big change...for
the better! Over the course of the last year, a major renovation
project upgrading the walkways, tent pads and other pedestrian
areas brought the site into compliance with the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). This effort benefits all visitors by allowing
easier movement through the site, whether on foot, wheelchair
is expected that use of the scenic outdoor facility will be expanded
for numerous public events throughout the year.
Educational programs, day camps, environmental workshops
and training seminars can now be held at the site.
are the gravel walkways and steep hills that proved difficult
to visitors in the past...especially following a rainstorm. All
walkways are now paved and follow gentle slopes. The
network of accessible sidewalks guide visitors to specific locations
throughout the grounds.
2,600 linear feet of paved sidewalks direct pedestrians to traditional
venues such as the lumberjack show, the log cabin, and the fish
tanks. The sidewalks also provide access to tent
displays, food vendors, and entertainment areas within Conservation
greatest challenge to overcome was the elevation difference on
the 10 acre site. The Illinois Accessibility Code has specific
slope requirement for both walkways and display areas. Given the sloping terrain of the site,
over 6,200 cubic yards of soil were cut and nearly 10,200 cubic
yards of fill were required
to make the site accessible.
This earthwork was needed to overcome the 42 foot elevation
difference between the main entrance gate and the boat docks on
the pond. The design uses several features which
preserved as many of the existing trees and prairie vegetation
addition to the earth and concrete work, new storm water inlets
and storm sewers channel runoff into a new retention pond or into
the existing pond. The
new retention pond, drains and storm sewers help minimize erosion
around the sidewalks and tent pads, and reduce slope damage.
of the more unique aspects of the project is the construction of
eight, 40 foot by 60 foot concrete tent pads.
Using a Technology Demonstration Grant from the Illinois
Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the tent pads were
constructed using recycled glass cullet in lieu of aggregate and
sand in the concrete mix.
demonstration project includes four different concrete mixes using
different size crushed glass particles in different mixing ratios.
The project is intended to promote the effectiveness of using
recycled glass within construction projects, and to demonstrate
its durability over time and under typical Illinois weather conditions.
final improvement was dredging the large pond of sediment accumulated
over the last 50 years. Over
17,000 cubic yards of material was removed from the bottom of the
pond and transported to nearby agricultural fields. The dredging more than doubled the pond's
capacity and greatly improved water quality.
Dredging should allow the Department to once again offer boat
rides and fishing clinics during the Illinois State Fair.
OFFICE OF ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING AND GRANTS: