Regional Trail Segment at Timber Ridge
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is constructing a 1.2 mile multipurpose trail as part of the West Branch Regional Trail at Timber Ridge Forest Preserve in West Chicago. The 10-foot-wide asphalt trail will extend from the Great Western Trail to St. Charles Road. The trail will allow its users to explore a variety of habitats, including mature woodlands, open prairies, wetlands and the habitat along the West Branch of the DuPage River, while its design and route will limit impact on the environment. Over 70 percent of the trail is located within the river’s 100-year floodplain and along conservation easements the District acquired over 20 years ago. In addition, a 235-foot-long boardwalk, made of 100 percent recyclable composite materials, will span the site’s wetlands.
The District worked with eight agencies — including West Chicago, the West Chicago Park District, the Wayne Township Highway Department, the DuPage County Department of Economic Development and Planning, the DuPage County Division of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Commonwealth Edison and the United States Army Corp of Engineers — to complete the project.
This segment of the West Branch Regional Trail is funded by a portion from the 2007 referendum bond. Approximately $1.25 million has been allocated to cover all costs associated with its design, permitting, and construction. The District funded previously constructed regional trail segments from a $2 million grant, which was awarded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Establishing a network of trails and greenways has long been one of the Forest Preserve District’s goals. With the adoption of the Districtwide Master Plan in 1992, a system of regional trails and greenways was identified. One component includes the regional trail system along the West Branch of the DuPage River. Today, the District provides nearly ten miles of trail along the West Branch.
When complete, this trail will complete a critical link to existing and future planned trails to neighboring communities. The trail’s northern portion will connect to residential areas near St. Charles Road, and a southern portion will connect the Great Western Trail to DuPage County’s regional trail system. An eastern spur will continue through West Chicago Park District's Dyer Riverwoods Park. The trail will also use an IDOT underpass to allow safe travel under North Avenue.
The District is prepared to obtain all approvals for the project. The bid process will begin this winter, and construction is set to begin over the spring of 2011. It is anticipated the project will be complete by the summer of 2012.