Lake Arlington Park Improvement Project

Progress as of 7.19.18 – New Playground

Progress as of 7.19.18 – New Playground

Progress as of 7.19.18 – New Fitness Stations

Progress as of 7.19.18 – New Fitness Stations

Progress as of 7.19.18

Progress as of 7.19.18

Expanded Boating Dock and New Fishing Pier

Expanded Boating Dock and New Fishing Pier

Multi-use Pathway Improvements

Multi-use Pathway Improvements

Shelter and Game Tables

Shelter and Game Tables

Sensory Garden and Native Plantings

Sensory Garden and Native Plantings

Site Improvements and Landscaping

Site Improvements and Landscaping

Check back here to stay updated, follow progress on the improvements and share your comments about the Lake Arlington Park  Improvement Project.

 

Why is this project being developed?

Studies show that communities and individuals benefit positively from being physically active, and from exposure to nature and green space. Just imagine parents, grandparents, or caregivers utilizing the fitness equipment while maintaining eye contact with their children who are enjoying the sensory garden. Or using either the 2 – 5-year-old or 5 – 12-year-old playgrounds while protected from the sun underneath the shade structure that is strategically placed allowing patrons to view the playgrounds, garden, or the lake.
 

How is the project being funded?

The estimated $1.4 million project will be funded, in part, with $400,000 from an Illinois Department of Natural Resource (IDNR) Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grant. The Park District’s capital improvement budget will fund the balance.
 

When?

  • Construction began March 6, 2018
  • New facility scheduled to reopen September 2018

What is open during the renovation?

Daily operations will remain the same at The Boathouse
  • Concessions, rentals, and restrooms will all be available
All amenities will remain open with temporary closures to occur
  • All programming including camps at the Lake will run as scheduled 

What New Features Will be Offered?

FITNESS:

  • Adding an outdoor exercise area
  • Improved wayfinding and interpretive signage
  • Multi-use pathway improvements for wheeled and non-wheeled users

FUN:

  • New playground with equipment for ages 2-5 and 5-12
  • ADA compliant boardwalk will connect expanded boating dock
  • New fishing pier

NATURE:

  • Natural plantings
  • A sensory garden and decorative fountain
  • New multi-generational area with picnic shelter and game tables

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING CONSTRUCTION?

  • There will be some noise but construction will avoid evening and weekend hours
  • The sand area will be transformed into a native plantings (dune) area
  • Parking may be limited due to construction traffic at times
  • There may be times when the entrance from the parking lot may be blocked
 
See Lake Arlington Improvement Project FAQs below or use the Inquiry Form to share your comments and ask questions.
 

Lake Arlington Improvements 2018 Questions

Questions & Answers

Why is the park district proposing a revised project?

Agency personnel were forced to take a hard look at the original proposal when grant funds were reinstated in August of 2016.  How could the park district complete a project that they didn’t anticipate (or budget for), incorporate many features of the original plan while providing the best possible product for the entire community, and be fiscally responsible?  The revised plan satisfies the recreational improvements required by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and improves upon what was offered in the original plan.

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What is the timeline for completion?

If approved by the Board of Commissioners, construction is expected to begin in early March 2018.  To satisfy grant requirements, the project needs to be completed by August 2018.

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Will Lake Arlington remain open during construction?

The park district will make every effort to keep portions of the park open during construction.  The intent is to complete the project in phases.  For example, when the cape area improvements are underway, the trail will remain open for use.  As the project progresses towards the trail improvements, the plan is to close half of the trail, while leaving the remaining half open for use.

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Why isn’t the path being widened to 14’ throughout?

After reviewing the original plan and looking at site conditions and soil borings, it became evident that there wasn’t enough space to effectively widen the entire path and there were concerns that the proposed budget was insufficient to complete the work.  The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ASHTO) suggests that …”adding width to improve level of service is valuable to trail users, even if it is provided only on selected segments.”

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Why aren’t separate lanes being considered?

There are concerns about having enough space to complete such an improvement and there is no guarantee that users will heed the intended use of that space.

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Why is the walking lane on the inside of the trail?

AASHTO recommends that on shared use paths with segregated use …”(i.g., adjacent to a lake or river), the pedestrian lane should be placed on the side of the path with a view.”

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How do the relief spaces improve trail conditions?

The proposed relief spaces (5, 150’ long sections that are 14’ wide) offer bike riders the opportunity to pull off to the side to take a break or move around another bicyclist.

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What other improvements or changes are proposed for the path?

The walking width (inside portion of trail) is being widened to 6’ and the biking width reduced to 4’.  The biking portion of the path will be color coded to identify that it is meant for biking.

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Why is the biking lane being narrowed?

The biking lane is being narrowed to provide additional space to the bi-directional nature of the walking lane.  However, (5) 150’ relief spaces are being provided to allow an additional 4’ of width to pull off or move around another bicyclist.

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Why are the proposed fitness stations no longer situated along the trail?

After reviewing the original concept, it was decided that placement of fitness stations along the path could lead to congestion points that could negatively impact a user’s experience.

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Why is the beach being planted with shrubs and flowers?

The open sand near the lake’s edge is being restored to continue the naturalization of the park site.  The space was never intended to be a beach space.The water  is not of bathing compliance.

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Can we still recreate in the open sand?

Yes, you may use the sand as a play area or a place to enjoy the sun, however the space is not meant for wading or bathing purposes.

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Why is another pier being installed when there already is one?

The proposed additional pier will afford patrons the ability to enjoy fishing, operate remote control boats, or sit on a bench to enjoy views of the lake.

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Why is the existing boat dock being moved?

The existing boat dock is being shifted closer to the proposed board walk improvements to improve user accessibility by providing a connection to the existing ramp and to save funds by reducing the amount of decking needed to complete the connection.

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Why is the boat play structure being removed?

The location of the equipment in the sand prevented the structure from being as accessible as it needed to be.  Additional play opportunities are proposed in the cape area that are best accessible to all park users.

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Why is the park district proposing to install 2 new playgrounds, fitness equipment, a shelter, and a sensory garden in the cape area?

The park district desires to create a multi-generational recreation opportunity for patrons.  Parents or grandparents can utilize the fitness equipment while maintaining eye contact with their children who are enjoying the sensory garden or using either the 2 – 5-year-old or 5 – 12-year-old playgrounds.  The shelter is strategically placed to allow patrons to view the playgrounds, garden, or the lake.

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Why is the retaining wall being removed along the walkway leading to the lake?

The retaining wall was in need of repair and is being removed as part of this project to provide patrons a turf space to have a small picnic or simply enjoy the sun.

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Is bike rentals station being considered?

No, there will not be a bike rental station. 

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Is the parking lot being repaved and restriped as part of this project?

The parking lot is part of "Phase 2" of this project which will be done in the future.

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