Waukegan Port District


Waukegan South Harbor Renovations

Waukegan, Illinois

750 slips in two phases

Engineering, Master Planning


Adapting to changing conditions is vital for the success of small-craft harbors. The Waukegan Port District, realizing its south harbor marina was no longer competitive meeting boater needs, hired SmithGroupJJR to renovate the facility. The firm managed the entire planning, design, permitting and construction process. The result is a high-quality renovation that came in under budget and has repositioned Waukegan's marina in the marketplace.

While maintaining portions of the original marina, the design replaced fixed docks with more versatile floating docks, reconfigured the slip mix to address the trend towards larger boats, and made the entire facility ADA accessible. A multi-use pier provides a central spine, with gangways connecting boaters to the marina building and improved services and amenities. Iconic custom lighting and metalwork on railings and gates add unique aesthetic appeal.

The Port District's investment has paid off: The marina now enjoys a nearly 100% occupancy rate for the new slips, and is poised to serve boaters for decades to come.