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Best Practices for Bicycle Trail Pavement Construction and Maintenance in Illinois

The main objectives of this report were to provide the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) with guidelines for the structural design of bicycle trail pavement and recommendations for bicycle trail pavement maintenance.

by Illinois Center for Transportation


Illinois Best Practices


A design procedure based on three construction traffic factors and three pavement load levels was developed for Portland cement concrete, hot-mix asphalt, and granular/surface treatment surfaces. The bicycle trail design is determined by the level of construction traffic and the weight characteristics of maintenance vehicles or any other vehicle that regularly operate on the trail. Comparisons were made between the proposed design procedures and the performance of trails surveyed in northern, central, and southern Illinois. The results of the survey indicated that the proposed design procedure should produce a structural trail section that performs well over time. Detailed life cycle cost analyses were conducted for different trail designs and different pavement materials for a design period of 20 years. The analyses showed that relative costs were influenced by surface type and maintenance strategies that were required based on the particular surface type used.

Published June 2012

About the Author


Illinois Center for Transportation promotes innovation and progress in transportation through interdisciplinary research in an objective setting. In light of ICT’s efforts, the state and nation benefit from such a rapid response to researching future transportation challenges, which provides readiness to adapt to the changing needs.

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