Crescent Boulevard

Client: Village of Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Completion Date: 2015
Location: Glen Ellyn, Illinois


Crescent Boulevard near downtown Glen Ellyn was crumbling, lacked adequate sidewalk and drainage, and allowed uncontrolled movement of cars and pedestrians. Our partnership with project stakeholders resulted in an improvement that will provide significant traffic, safety and aesthetic benefits to the community. The project features a compact urban roundabout that simplifies travel patterns and allows legal U-turns, and a landscaped barrier median that provides better direction to pedestrians and ties the street architecturally to its surroundings. Other project features include improved roadway alignment, new parking and drop-off areas, shared travel lanes, and retaining walls that preserve right-of-way while enhancing aesthetics.

The roundabout at Crescent Court is the most original element of this project. A roundabout is still a rare intersection type in Illinois, particularly in an established residential area. Furthermore, the design and placement of this roundabout uses typical project features in new and creative ways. The design greatly simplified an irregular, oversized intersection, but other factors helped to justify the dramatic change from a conventional intersection to a roundabout.

First, the village and the school district wanted to slow traffic on the existing roadway, which had wide travel lanes that invited speeding. The roundabout geometry achieves this goal without intrusive signing or expensive on-site enforcement. Second, the corridor suffered from poor channelization and illegal lane use. Crescent Boulevard is a primary drop-off location for students arriving at the high school, and because it was wide enough for parents to drop off their children and execute a U-turn to return home, many did just that — a risky and occasionally dangerous maneuver. The new median barrier eliminates illegal U-turns; but alone, the median would simply have redirected the U-turn problem to adjacent intersections or private property. The roundabout serves the demand for that movement safely and legally.

The Crescent Boulevard improvement project also helped the community address a number of immediate concerns. The roundabout and the focus on a wide range of users resulted in project features that will have lasting positive effects on the community’s social and economic needs, including safety and nonmotorist use. Early in the process, the design team realized heavy pedestrian volumes warranted a large share of the roadway cross-section. The team enhanced the walkability of the corridor. An Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant secured by Burns & McDonnell helped fund completion of the sidewalk network within the project limits and enhancement of the midblock crossing with special pavement and pedestrian-actuated signals. A design exception was secured for a steep access driveway, which enabled the elimination of a retaining wall that blocked a sidewalk and redirected pedestrians toward the street. Even the retaining walls on the project were designed with pedestrians in mind, with the wall along the school frontage specifically intended for students to be able to use as a bench.

The design team successfully assembled many pieces of the design in a significantly constrained site, namely the narrow 80-foot right-of-way between a steep hill on the north and a gated athletic facility on the south. The roadway was carefully designed to accommodate the narrow space and the difficult topography to the maximum extent possible. A split profile between eastbound and westbound Crescent Boulevard reduced the height of the retaining wall on the north side of the road, preserved the new wrought iron fence on the south side, and modulated the visual impact of the median wall from the school. Expensive utility conflicts were avoided through creative use of roadway and sidewalk profiles.


  • Concept development
  • Traffic analysis
  • NEPA documentation and evaluation
  • Drainage studies
  • Intersection design studies
  • Public involvement
  • Stakeholder coordination
  • Roadway and draining design
  • Landscaping design
  • Water main design
  • Retaining wall design
  • IDOT coordination
  • RFI response
  • ROW and easement coordination