West Branch DuPage River Corridor Improvements
West Branch DuPage River Flood Control and Restoration Project
The West Branch DuPage River Flood Control and Re-meander Project is the final phase of work to address the flooding concerns along the river in Warrenville. The project was completed in October 2016. Improvements included the extension of a flood control berm and multi-use path along River Road, creation of compensatory storage in Leone Schmidt Heritage Park, realignment of the West Branch DuPage River, and associated river restoration. In order to reduce existing water surface elevations, the re-meander realigned the river with the Warrenville Road bridge, which was replaced by the County's Division of Transportation in 2015. All vegetation for the project will remaining the management period until it has met the required performance standards outlined in the contract. Final signoff for the project is expected in 2019.
Prior to this, DuPage County Stormwater Management and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County finished restoration work in McDowell Grove Forest Preserve. That project was a portion of the greater West Branch DuPage River Corridor Restoration Project. With partial funding from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in the form of a $1.37 million grant , the work included installation of best management practices along a more than three-mile stretch of the river. In order to reduce flood-related damages in this area, DuPage County Stormwater Management also constructed a flood control berm with a multi-use path along the east side of River Road to connect to the previously constructed berm near Bower Elementary School (Warrenville).
Project Background Information
The flooding of September 2008 in Warrenville prompted DuPage County to study the stretch of the West Branch DuPage River from Roosevelt Road down through Fawell Dam for flood control solutions. This study is also called the West Branch DuPage River Interim Watershed Plan Addendum, and it analyzed a number of alternatives for flood control and water quality enhancement. The recommended alternative identified the following improvements:
- Raising of Bower Elementary School flood control berm;
- Raising the profile of River Road;
- Reconstruction of Warrenville Road bridge;
- Reconstruction of Williams Road bridge;
- Construction of a flood control berm at the Emerald Green subdivision;
- Construction of a flood control berm at the Iroquois Court/Williams Road neighborhood;
- Construction of a flood control berm at Forestview Drive;
- Implementation of compensatory storage for the above improvements by cutting of channel banks approximately between the Warrenville Grove Dam site and the McDowell Grove Dam site; and
- Implementation of a river restoration corridor approximately between the Warrenville Grove Dam site and the McDowell Grove Dam site to provide water quality, fish habitat and riparian improvements.
The total cost estimated to implement the recommended alternative is $18.3 million. The recommended alternative includes multiple improvements and the funding will be shared by multiple jurisdictions. In September 2010, the County Board approved a 5-year bond initiative that allocated $5.5 million for the implementation of the West Branch DuPage River Watershed Plan Addendum's recommended alternative. Construction of the Phase I improvements at Bower Elementary School began in Summer 2012. The Phase II flood control improvements and river restoration began in late Spring 2013.
West Branch Forest Preserve Klein Fen, River Restoration and Wetland Mitigation Project
The West Branch Forest Preserve Klein Fen, River Restoration and Wetland Mitigation project improved the river ecology along a stretch of the West Branch DuPage River within the 811 acre West Branch Forest Preserve in Carol Stream. Stormwater Management and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County teamed up to construct a raised channel bed with riffles and pools to provide a better habitat for aquatic animals. This project was also constructed to allow floodwaters, which would otherwise impact downstream communities, to overflow into adjacent wetlands in the surrounding West Branch Forest Preserve. Wetland mitigation, including restoration of a rare fen, and stream bank stabilization efforts have restored the surrounding natural areas and stabilized the eroding banks using native plants. Vegetative restoration efforts included installation of 115,000 plant plugs and installation of native trees and shrubs. Routine management of the project area is currently underway and will take place over the next several years.
West Branch DuPage River Interim Watershed Plan Addendum