A short section of the Whalon Lake preserve loop trail that has been closed since September reopened Wednesday, December 13.
The trail portion was closed as a DuPage River Trail bridge was erected over a floodwater diversion channel being built at the preserve.
During a flood, the diversion channel will carry water from the eastern branch of the DuPage River to the 80-acre lake, which is part of a 249-acre preserve of the same name that is split between Bolingbrook and Naperville. Both the lake and the diversion channel will hold and slowly release the water back into the river through existing twin box culverts at the southwest corner of Whalon Lake.
The work was performed by V3 Companies on behalf of Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Co., which already pumps groundwater from its adjacent quarry into Whalon Lake, the Bolingbrook Park District's Hidden Lakes Trout Farm and the DuPage River.
Plans for the water diversion channel date back to the 1990s when the Forest Preserve acquired the depleted Barbers Corner Quarry and converted it into Whalon Lake.
In addition to paying for the drainage channel and bridge, the quarrying company is helping to pay for a 1.25-mile extension of the DuPage River Trail that will be built along Royce and Greene roads. The trail extension will connect Whalon Lake to the Greene Valley Forest Preserve, which is owned by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. The trail extension is scheduled to open in 2018.
The bicounty trail connection will provide a safer passage for path users trying to get from one preserve to the other, and will help fill gaps in the planned 40-mile DuPage River Trail, which will ultimately stretch from northern DuPage County to Channahon in southern Will County.
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