The Forest Preserve District of Kane County doesn’t slow down during the winter months — not by a long shot.
If you ever want to find out what’s happening or going to happen in our forest preserves, check out the outstanding Planning and Development report that’s part of the agenda packet for each monthly Forest Preserve Commission meeting.
- Go to this page on the county’s website to find agendas and agenda packets for past and upcoming board meetings.
Among the upcoming projects are restoration of the historic lighthouse at Fabyan Forest Preserve, a $2.3 million reroute of the Raymond Street Bridge, a bike bridge under I-90 and much, much more.
Here are some updates about things that are going on or coming up in a forest preserve near you.
Geneva — Fabyan Forest Preserve Island Restoration Project
The old bridge has been removed, and the contractor has completed the restoration work. The permits for the bridge installation and causeway removal have been applied for, once approved, staff will work with the engineers to prepare specifications and bid the project. The lighthouse has been removed.
The lighthouse restoration bid is complete and advertised, the bid is due Feb. 4 and will go to the February Utilization Meeting for review and approval.
Carpentersville — Brunner Family Forest Preserve Gets an OSLAD Grant
Staff is working with the village of Carpentersville on upgrading an existing creek crossing which reduce the cost within the budgeted amount. The trail improvements are scheduled to be completed next summer. This is the last section of trail to complete the trail section between Carpentersville Dam and Buffalo Park.
South Elgin — Fox River Trail
Forest Preserve District staff has submitted bike grant applications to assist with the funding for trail repair and land acquisition to maintain the Fox River Trail in downtown South Elgin. Staff is working with the village of South Elgin on final bike trail re-route and the acquisition plan.
South Elgin — $2.3 Million Raymond Street Bridge Re-route
Staff received notice that the project will received Transportation Alternatives Program funding through CMAP. Staff will begin working with the engineers to begin phase II engineering. The grant will reimburse the district 80 percent of the cost for phase II engineering and the construction cost. The estimated project cost is $2,325,179 of which the district will be reimbursed approximately $1,774,896. The Raymond Street project is scheduled for construction start in the spring-summer of 2017.
Gilberts — Freeman Kame/Meagher Forest Preserve Gets Recreational Trail Grant
The district received the RTP grant for the improvements proposed for Freeman Kame/Meagher Forest Preserve. The improvements include a new parking lot, picnic area, and trail connections throughout the south portion of the preserve. The RTP grant will reimburse the district 80 percent of the cost of the project. The total cost of the project is estimated at $280,000 and the district will be reimbursed $224,000. The parking lot, drive and trail section of the project is complete. The remaining elements of the project include the shelter, restroom and the well, which are scheduled to be bid and approved for spring construction.
Elgin — Fitchie Creek Wetland Restoration
The Fitchie Creek project was bid and approved, the contractor has completed work and is now in the monitoring portion of the contract which includes mowing and overseeding areas as plants begin to grow.
Elgin — Tyler Creek Forest Preserve Parking Lot Renovation and Bridge Removal
The Tyler Creek project is complete, staff is working with contractor on punch list and holding retainage until vegetation is growing and established.
Dundee — Illinois Tollway Authority Replacing Bike Bridge Under I-90
Staff is working with the Illinois Tollway Authority on the replacement of the bike bridge under the I-90 bridge that crosses the Fox River in Elgin. The existing bike bridge sections have been relocated and stored at Brunner Family Forest Preserve. The Fox River Trail has been temporarily rerouted during bridge construction for the safety of the trail users and a covered trail is provided. Temporary closures will still happen periodically as the bridge is replaced. The bike bridge that crosses the river will not be reopened until 2017.
Carpentersville — IDOT Improving Route 31 and Miller Road
Staff is working with IDOT on proposed improvements for the portion of Route 31 and Miller Road, north of Huntley Road. The proposed improvement plans include a bike/pedestrian trail to connect Raceway Woods Forest Preserve to Brunner Family Forest Preserve in exchange for temporary easements needed by IDOT to complete their improvements at the Miller Road and Route 31 intersection. A letter of intent is currently being reviewed by the board of commissioners for the proposed plans.
St. Charles — IDOT, KDOT Improving Route 31 and Silver Glen Road
Staff is working with IDOT on the proposed improvements for the portion of Route 31 and Silver Glen Road. The improvements include working with the Forest Preserve District to improve the bike trail crossing at the intersection at that location. The easement IDOT was requesting for the intersection improvements was approved in November 2014. Staff will continue to work with IDOT and KDOT on the improvements.
Natural Resources Facility
Staff and the consultants have completed the review to determine additional cost savings within the project and have found significant savings and additional funding has been budgeted for in the FY 2015/16 Budget to rebid the project following the project coming in over bid in 2014. The requested budget for the project of $1,595,000 has been approved and staff will work to finalize changes in the construction drawings and prepare for bidding in November. In the interim staff is reviewing the possibilities of acquiring an existing facility that would fit the needs of the Natural Resource Department and will report back to the Land Acquisition Committee in December.
Tree Transplanting to Big Rock Campground and LeRoy Oakes
The district acquired property on Hughes Road that was formerly a tree nursery. Staff relocated 25 trees from the nursery to the Big Rock Campground to provide shade for the campers, and 12 trees to LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve to begin to establish the savanna area approved as part of the overall master plan for the property. The trees were mostly oaks and are approximately 25 to 30 feet tall.
The proposal from Klubar Architects has been approved and staff will begin working with them to complete an additional 16 building inspections on Forest Preserve Structures. The 16 building evaluations are complete, staff is reviewing and will begin developing a plan for completing recommended work and incorporate into next fiscal year’s budget.
Staff working with the Trades department on plans to upgrade the restrooms at Tomo Chi-Chi Lodge to bring it in compliance with ADA regulations. The improvements are scheduled to be completed this winter. Staff has also completed an inventory of drinking fountains and grills with in the preserves and is prioritizing upgrades for next fiscal year to bring District picnic areas in compliance with ADA regulations.
About the Forest Preserve District of Kane County
The Forest Preserve District of Kane County acquires, holds and maintains land to preserve natural and historic resources, habitats, flora and fauna. The district restores, restocks, protects and preserves open space for the education, recreation and pleasure of Kane County citizens. For more information, visit the district’s website or find them on social media via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Also, sign up for the quarterly TreeLine Newsletter.
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