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 pathway 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 included 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 located within 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) and

  • Eleven (11) tributaries 

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Study Team​

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 led by an inter-agency steering committee. The Steering Committee served an important role in assisting the County to determine study area needs, environmental constraints, potential alternatives and, ultimately, the preferred alignment. Organizations invited to participate in the Steering Committee included the following:

  • ComEd


  • DuPage County Stormwater Management (DCSM)

  • Village of Glen Ellyn

  • Village of Lombard

  • Butterfield Park District

  • 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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Pre-Phase I was completed utilizing a combination of County and planning-level grant funding.

Future project phases are contingent upon obtaining additional funding.

Pre-Phase I Study Process

The Study evaluated a range of alignment alternatives and assisted the Steering Committee with determining the corridors to carry into future engineering studies and construction. 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 Study Process

A Phase I Study is when preliminary engineering and environmental studies are completed and approved for federal funding eligibility. This project has a good start based on the significant progress made during the Pre-Phase I Study in determining feasible, reasonable options and gaining support of public partners. The graphic below shows the general steps anticipated as part of the Phase I Study. Public involvement is anticipated throughout the Phase I Study.

Phase I Study Key Elements:

  • Finalize Trail Alignment

  • Preliminary Design

  • Environmental Surveys

  • Continued Stakeholder Coordination

  • Public Involvement

  • IDOT and FHWA Coordination

  • Phase I Engineering Reports for IDOT Approval