New trail coming to forest preserve near Wayne

  • DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners have authorized the execution of an agreement with IDOT to build a parking lot and trail in Dunham Forest Preserve.

    DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners have authorized the execution of an agreement with IDOT to build a parking lot and trail in Dunham Forest Preserve. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 12/18/2018 4:16 PM

Work is expected to start this summer on a roughly $1.3 million project that would make it easier for the public to enjoy Dunham Forest Preserve near Wayne.

DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners on Tuesday authorized the execution of an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation to build a parking lot and trail at the preserve south of Army Trail Road and west of Powis Road.

 

The upgrades are planned for a site off Army Trail next to a historic train depot the Wayne Historical Preservation Society is renovating.

Forest preserve district officials said IDOT is scheduled to bid the project in March. Construction is expected to start in the summer and be completed by the end of 2019.

As part of the agreement, the forest district will pay $262,162 of the construction costs. It also will contribute $27,975 for engineering costs.

Once built, the 1.25-mile limestone trail will connect a West Chicago park -- Cornerstone Lakes -- to downtown Wayne. The path will be a segment of the regional DuPage Technology Corridor Trail.

After the work is done, the forest preserve district might pursue another project to build a scenic overlook so visitors can view ongoing efforts to re-create prairies and wetlands at the preserve.

The forest preserve district bought the 374-acre Dunham property for $25 million in 2006.

At the time, district officials called the acquisition environmentally important because it provides a habitat for grassland birds and animals.

The district, village, historical preservation society and Wayne Area Conservancy Foundation have been working on the development of the preserve since 2007. The goal is to preserve natural resources and Wayne's cultural history "while promoting recreational development consistent with the cultural character of the community," officials said.

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