Long-awaited improvements that will make Brunner Forest Preserve more accessible to the public are coming later this year, with the construction of the longest single trail ever built by the Kane County Forest Preserve District.
The 741-acre preserve has been open to the public since the district bought the property in 2008. However, with few land improvements, the property has a public stigma of being mostly inaccessible.
That should soon change, as district commissioners are expected to approve a $675,000 contract for construction of a 3.5-mile trail and accessible fishing area along the segment of the Fox River that runs through the West Dundee property.
Monica Meyers, executive director of the forest preserve district, told commissioners the cost is a bit higher than anticipated.
"We hoped this would come in around the $600,000 mark," she said. "We may need a little extra money out of next year's budget to complete the final elements."
Meyers said the district is seeing an uptick in prices in several of the contracts it's put out for bids in recent months as the economy recovers.
The overall plan for the preserve includes a multipurpose trail from Buffalo Park to the Carpentersville Dam, a picnic area with shelter, public restrooms and wetland enhancements along the river.
The proposed Longmeadow Parkway bridge would still pass through the northern portion of the preserve, near the new fishing area, as it heads over the Fox River. There also is a plan to connect the Brunner Forest Preserve Regional Trail to the neighboring Raceway Woods Forest Preserve Trail at the southwest end of the Brunner preserve.
Work would begin on the trail, stretching nearly the entire north-south length of the preserve, as soon as the contract is in place. The full forest preserve commission will vote on the contract early next month.