A stretch of creek that runs for more than a half-mile through St. James Farm Forest Preserve near Warrenville is slated to be restored, thanks to a $2 million contribution from the state tollway authority.
DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners on Tuesday are expected to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to restore Spring Brook Creek.
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The project will reconfigure the creek to replicate a more natural, meandering stream, and include shoreline improvements, officials said. Nonnative species and invasive plants will be removed as part of the restoration.
"This is a perfect example of intergovernmental cooperation," forest preserve President D. "Dewey" Pierotti Jr. said. "We're providing something that's beneficial to all the people of DuPage County and the state."
The tollway is contributing $2 million for the restoration to mitigate construction impacts associated with the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project.
Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said in a statement that the restoration is an example of the environmental practices the tollway is following during every phase of its 15-year Move Illinois building program.
"We are dedicated to protecting our natural resources as we carry out this program and in working with other agencies to restore damaged streams and wetlands," Lafleur said.
Originally excavated in the early 1900s as a drainage ditch, the creek flows southwest from the center of Wheaton to the West Branch of the DuPage River within St. James Farm.
Pierotti said the forest preserve district long has wanted to restore the creek but didn't have the money.
"We're going to be able to take the money they're giving us and do all of these improvements that we really wanted to do," he said.
Construction is expected to begin this year and be completed in 2015. The work will include replacing a service bridge.
The project will be coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, officials said.