Foss Park project wins beach restoration award

A coastal habitat restoration and nourishment project in North Chicago, IL won the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s 2023 Best Restored Beaches Award. photo

Michels Construction, Inc. restored approximately 1,300 feet of shoreline at Foss Park with approximately half dedicated to recreational swimming and half to coastal habitat restoration. 

The project provided direct benefit to an economically challenged community and incorporated ADA access along with the recreational sand beach. The beach had been closed to swimming for 100 years due to unsafe swimming conditions.

Michels built rock and stone structures extending 150 feet off the shoreline in water depth up to 9 feet.

The underwater structures were built to strict design standards. Large quartzite rocks were placed underwater and keyed together to build a strong sloped structure of smaller quartzite rock, reaching completion at 4 feet above water.

Because the project was designed to be built from shore, the crew built temporary access work paths to use while constructing structures and then removed them, reusing the material to construct breakwater structures.