October 21, 2020
The Epstein-designed and engineered Riverview Bridge is a winner in the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers 2020 awards! We are delighted to be taking home the Sustainability in Civil Engineering Achievement award, which is presented to civil engineering projects within the ASCE Illinois Section that exhibit the greatest innovation in sustainability.
Completed in 2019, the Riverview Bridge crosses the North Branch of the Chicago River at Addison, providing a new connection for runners, bicyclists and pedestrians between the paths in Clark and California parks. When combined with the now under construction underbridge at Irving Park Road, this will create one of Chicago’s largest recreational hubs, the “312 RiverRun,” which connects three parks with one path for nearly two miles.
Epstein’s design strategy for Riverview Bridge involved the unconventional solution of disengaging the path from the riverbank and elevating the entire structure above the water level. This solution elevates the trail on piers, and locates it within the river, preserving the maximum amount of vegetation and riverbank stability while minimizing scouring and erosion. The bridge design also creates a shadow in the river, which is beneficial for fish looking to escape the heat and predators from above.
This project shows the public that sustainability is not limited to wind turbines and solar panels. Sustainability in engineering and construction also means creating spaces that are respectful to the site and attempt to merge with its surroundings. As a result, the public can now:
- Enjoy a trail that blends in with nature and minimizes impacts instead of removing natural vegetation, seeing this as an example for future projects.
- Access the river in this area like never before and experience for themselves the positive effects of clean rivers.
- See fish and aquatic wildlife living in and along the riverbank and understand sustainability also means preserving spaces for wildlife.
At the project groundbreaking, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “The 312 RiverRun will create an unparalleled network of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents while boosting neighborhood vibrancy and economic growth.” On behalf of the Epstein-led design team, we are pleased to have been able to help bring that notion successfully to fruition
This year's awards ceremony will be held virtually during the week of November 9th to recognize the award winners. Our Director of Civil Engineering, Greg Osborne, PE, LEED AP, who served as the Phase II Design Project Manager for Riverview, will be attending on Epstein's behalf.
Thank you to the ISASCE for this wonderful recognition! And congratulations to all of the projects and individuals for their outstanding achievements and dedication to our communities.