DuPage County is preparing for the next step in its ongoing work to alleviate flooding in Warrenville.
County board members this week approved the purchase of a commercial building where the Warrenville Road bridge crosses the West Branch of the DuPage River.
The structure, which sits along the river at 28W210 Warrenville Road, will be demolished to clear the way for two projects scheduled to start next year.
The first will reconstruct the Warrenville Road bridge to improve the flow of river water. The second will change the flow of the DuPage River at the bridge.
"By removing the building, we can widen the bridge at that location and then meander the river out to the east a little bit further where it wants to be," said Anthony Charlton, DuPage's director of stormwater management. "So it will be much more stable."
He said the project will prevent river water from backing up at the bridge.
The bridge and river projects are the next phase in the county's effort to address flooding in Warrenville, according Jim Zay, chairman of the county board's stormwater committee.
Completed projects include the construction of a berm to hold the river away from Bower Elementary School in Warrenville. A levy also was created along River Road to protect neighborhoods west of the road.
"You're already seeing benefits," Zay said. "The big thing is going to be that section (at the Warrenville Road bridge)."
County officials said river and bridge work is expected to start in the spring, so the plan is to demolish the commercial building in the fall.
While the county is going to spend $305,000 to buy the building, it will be reimbursed $277,500 through a cost share agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
"The building was for sale, and we looked at it for years," Zay said. "We couldn't afford it. But then we got the grant from the state. They thought it was a good idea."