- The improvements successfully reduced flooding along the service roads and the West Branch DuPage River trail was moved out of the floodplain.
- The portion of the creek running through Blackwell Forest Preserve was largely a channelized drainage ditch with a hydraulic structure in the center area acting as a dam creating a 16-surface-acre impoundment. This structure was removed to allow fish and mussels to move upstream and the previous impoundment was converted into meandered creek with overflow connectivity to the surrounding wetland.
- The existing deteriorated trail bridge was removed and replaced with a new concrete and steel bridge structure along with a newly constructed service road.
- Long-term management of the native vegetation establishment includes targeted invasive species weed control, supplemental seeding and planting, prescribed burns, and various other tasks as required to achieve the desired performance standards.
- The project presented significant challenges regarding equipment access, management of active water flow, weather conditions that flooded out the work zone, and poor soils that required deep excavation for removal and replacement with stable clay soil.
- The re-meandered stream bed was designed to elevate it to normal entrenchment conditions and saturate hydric soils to form a riparian wetland zone that would absorb floodwaters.
- Constructed to mimic a naturally made stream bed, each bend in the new channel was excavated deeper to create a pool, each crossover was elevated to create a riffle and the stone-lined channel bottom was sloped to follow the water flow.
- The stream bank was stabilized using root wads and footer logs in the bends of the newly meandered creek and the top of the bank was stabilized with 10-foot-wide by 1-foot-deep burrito-style wrapped topsoil.
- A major project challenge involved building the new channel over the old channel while maintaining stream flows.
- All construction, stabilization, seeding restoration and planting were completed by our team.
- Other work included haul road construction, site clearing and tree removal, harvesting root wads, cofferdam installation, temporary bypass channel construction, new channel excavation, stream stabilization, earthwork, hydraulic structure removal, culvert removal, limestone trail removal and installation, asphalt pavement removal, asphalt paving, seeding, plug planting, tree and shrub planting, and clearing and control of invasive species.