Lemont Road Trailhead and Parking Lot Improvements at Waterfall Glenn
Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien is the second largest preserve in DuPage County, containing almost 2,500 acres, yet public parking capacity is currently limited to two lots in the northeastern part of the preserve. In 2003, the District entered into an intergovernmental agreement with DuPage County's Division of Transportation relative to the proposed construction of a new parking lot at an existing three-way intersection at 101st Street and Lemont Road. This proposed entrance drive and parking area will serve as a point of access into the western part of Waterfall Glen. Lemont Road (County Highway 9) is a high-volume arterial roadway, and the new preserve entrance will take advantage of an intersection with traffic signals. This project will also tie in with the countywide Southern DuPage Regional Trail System, a proposed trail segment west of Lemont Road on the north side of 101st Street.
DuDOT has agreed to be the lead agency with respect to constructing the required roadway intersection modifications, parking lot and trailhead improvements on District property. The total project cost, including engineering fees and construction costs, is estimated to be about $1.17 million, of which the District's cost-share is about 52 percent.
All required construction permits are now in hand, and DuDOT awarded a construction contract in August 2005. The District anticipates that work on the parking lot, trailhead, and intersection modifications will begin in September and will be substantially complete by the end of 2005. Site restoration will likely not be complete until spring of 2006.
In November of 2005, DuDOT tentatively plans to open bids for the segment of the Southern DuPage Regional Trail to be constructed on the north side of 101st Street, between Woodward Avenue and Lemont Road. Construction of this related DuPage County project will likely be complete in 2006.
A new preserve entrance drive and parallel connector trail will be constructed on the east side of Lemont Road, opposite of 101st Street. DuDOT will construct a left-hand turn lane for southbound vehicles entering the preserve from Lemont Road. The new parking lot will provide spaces for approximately 50 vehicles and will be located within 300 feet of the main trail system at Waterfall Glen, a 9-mile loop around Argonne National Laboratory. The new parking lot will not accommodate horse trailers, but equestrians can continue to park trailers at the existing parking lot near Northgate Road and Cass Avenue.