Weather Alert

Forest Preserve’s Hammel Woods Dam Project To Begin In July

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Hammel Woods Dam removal and modification project in Shorewood is scheduled to begin in July.

The project will close a section of the DuPage River, a segment of the DuPage River Trail and a portion of the preserve.

The project, approved by the Forest Preserve’s Board of Commissioners in spring 2019, will improve the health of the DuPage River and make it safer for boaters. As a result of this work:

  • The section of the DuPage River that goes through Hammel Woods will not be open for boating or tubing as the dam work takes place.
  • A portion of the DuPage River Trail from Route 52 to the dam overlook will be closed. Trail closure signs will be put in place on the trail near Shorewood Grove.
  • The Grinton Grove section of the preserve, which is the southernmost section, will be closed and the parking lot adjacent to the dam site will be closed.
  • The portage area that exists now for boaters to go around the dam will be removed. A new canoe/kayak launch will be built downstream of the current launch prior to the old launch being removed.

The Hammel Woods Dam project is expected to be completed in October, but weather and other factors could affect the timeline.

The dam removal will take place in two stages with half the river water at the project site being drained during each phase using cofferdams, which divert water away from the work area.

The portion of the stone dam that rises above the river bottom will be removed, but the stone footings below the river bottom will remain. After the dam is removed, natural river rocks will be added near the banks to create “riffles” that will oxygenate the water. Native vegetation will be planted later to stabilize the riverbank. The work will return the river to a more natural state.

Semper Fi Land Services Inc. was hired to remove the dam. WBK Engineering LLC will oversee the work and the Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition has agreed to pay for the removal.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.


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