January 22, 2018

On January 16, 2018 the Fox Waterway Agency (FWA) was awarded the APWA Lake Branch Chapter 2018 Project of the Year Structures – Less Than $5 Million for their Foundation Modification and Office Renovations Project.

In April of 2013, multiple rain storms caused the Fox River to rise over 3 feet which caused extreme flooding in the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, the Fox Waterway Agency was one of the flood victims with over 2 feet of flood water in the administration office and equipment service area rendering the facility useless.

Four years later, with no help from insurance companies and using some FEMA funds, the Fox Waterway Agency assembled a team of architects, Trotter and Associates, Schmitt Engineering and the Dave Gillespie Design Group to create a cost effective way to rebuild the administration offices.

The Fox Waterway Agency was able to construct a 3,400 SF flood proof administration office area by installing 28 helical piles inside the existing steel Quonset-hut building and constructing a steel beam substructure with concrete floor deck that was 3 feet above the flood elevation. A flood proof administration office was constructed and tested/verified by the floods in July 2017. The flooding caused a 3 week construction delay but there was no flood damage.

The Fox Waterway Agency was created to improve and maintain the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes public waterway for recreational uses, to restore environmental quality, manage flooding, promote tourism, and enhance the quality of life along the waterway for residents and users alike.

Fox Waterway Agency’s jurisdiction includes the 15 interconnected lakes, which make up the Fox River Chain O’Lakes and 30 miles of the Fox River stretching from the Wisconsin State line to the Algonquin Dam, as well as their tributaries and over 40 miles of navigable channels. Although their physical jurisdiction is limited to the Waterway itself, their partnerships with local landowners and organizations, and governmental agencies allows the Fox Waterway Agency to cooperate in many land-based projects that effect the waterway.


Steve Cieslica, P.E.