About the Project

Project Background​

The East Branch DuPage River Trail (EBDRT, or East Branch Trail) is a planned 28-mile regional trail in central DuPage County.  This north-south trail was first conceptualized in the 1990s as an offstreet non-motorized path for DuPage residents west of I-355, connecting isolated pockets of forest preserves with parks, waterways, and several municipalities.

In 2019, the DuPage County Division of Transportation (County) initiated an Alignment Study for the EBDRT from the Great Western Trail to Butterfield Road. The study area is over 4 miles long and is generally within either the greenspace along the East Branch of the DuPage River (EBDR) or within nearby public R.O.W. where the EBDR is inaccessible. The EBDRT study area includes Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC) holdings, ComEd property, Tollway right-of-way, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) right-of-way, Glenbard Wastewater Authority (GWA) property, Glen Ellyn Park District, Lombard Park District, and Butterfield Park District property. This section of the EBDRT is in the vicinity of the villages of Glen Ellyn and Lombard or within unincorporated DuPage County. Potential major crossings considered included:

  • St. Charles Road 

  • Union Pacific Railroad

  • Illinois Prairie Path

  • IL 53

  • Roosevelt Road (IL 38)

  • Eleven (11) known tributaries 

 
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Project Team​

DuPage County is the lead agency.  To complete the study, the County selected Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. to complete the Study, which was developed in coordination with project stakeholders.

 

The project development process was guided by an inter-agency steering committee. The Steering Committee assisted the County and its consulting team to determine study area project needs, identify environmental constraints, and evaluate alternatives.

 

Steering Committee participating organizations included:

  • Village of Glen Ellyn

  • Village of Lombard

  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

  • Butterfield Park District

  • DuPage County Stormwater Management

  • Commonwealth Edison

  • Friends of the EBDRT

Five (5) Steering Committee meetings were held to generate consensus on the corridors to be carried forward. 

 
 
Overall Timeline​
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Future project phases are contingent upon obtaining grant funds.

 
Alignment Study Process

The Study evaluated a range of alignment alternatives, thereby assisting the Steering Committee with determining the corridors to carry into preliminary engineering. Preliminary engineering will be coordinated with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for review and approval to ensure project eligibility for future grant funding opportunities.

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Phase I Engineering Process

A Phase I engineering study is when preliminary engineering and environmental studies are completed and approved for federal funding eligibility. One of the goals of the Alignment Study was to streamline the determination of feasible, reasonable options.

 

The graphic below shows typical steps involved in a Phase I engineering study. Public involvement will take place throughout Phase I.

Phase I Study Key Elements:

  • Continued Stakeholder Coordination

  • Public Involvement

  • Preliminary Design

  • Environmental Surveys

  • IDOT and FHWA Coordination

  • Finalize Trail Alignment

  • Phase I Engineering Reports for IDOT Approval