The Fairfield Road at IL Route 176 Junction project located in Unincorporated Lake County, Illinois, included reconstruction of the Fairfield Road and IL Route 176 intersection, encompassing approximately 6,600 feet or roadway reconstruction, approximately 7,000 feet of bike path reconfiguration, two bike path underpasses of IL Route 176, three wetland/open water stormwater basins, approximately 600 feet of stream/ravine relocation, wetland creation, and riparian restoration. Huff & Huff, a Subsidiary of GZA (GZA) was selected as the Certified Wetland Specialist and Restoration Engineer for the Lake County Division of Transportation’s (LCDOT) Fairfield Road at IL Route 176 Junction Improvements project.


GZA staff performed environmental services for Phase I, II, and III, and provided post-construction Natural Area Installation (NAI) maintenance and monitoring services. GZA staff coordinated closely with Civiltech, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), LCDOT, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (LCSMC), and the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) for all environmental related services pertaining to the roadway, bike path, stream/ravine, wetland, and stormwater design. Services provided by GZA staff included: wetland delineation, tree survey, endangered and threatened species consultation, ravine restoration design, wetland creation design, riparian restoration design, wetland bottom stormwater basin design, Preliminary Environmental Site Assessments (PESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) support services, IDOT coordination, LCSMC and USACE permitting, and NAI maintenance and monitoring.

GZA staff prepared wetland and open water stormwater basin design including grading, depth and duration analysis, wetland shelf design, species selection from aquatic to upland zones, and maintenance and monitoring planning. GZA staff was the lead restoration engineer in the design and construction of the stream/ravine relocation, wetland creation, and riparian restoration. GZA staff managed all monitoring and maintenance coordination for LCDOT, achieving all performance standards for the NAI areas, which included the wetland and open water stormwater basins, and the stream/ravine relocation, within the three-year maintenance and monitoring period. Transfer of the NAI area to LCFPD was completed in spring of 2018.


The project restored habitat and wetland in a popular recreation area. The three wetland and open water stormwater basin designs were integrated into the existing pond and ravine system at Lakewood Forest Preserve. Design elements included re-meandering of the existing stream utilizing relic stream channels, creation of a riffle-pool design system, step pool and riffle grade controls, 4 streambank stone toe protection revetments, 3 cross-vanes, wetland creation from abandoned channel, and riparian environment restoration design.