Work is poised to begin on part of a regional trail that will run through downtown Winfield and provide the backbone for a future riverwalk in the village.
Officials plan to break ground Tuesday on a 3-mile stretch of the West Branch DuPage River Trail that will connect Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve near Winfield and West DuPage Woods Forest Preserve near West Chicago.
The DuPage County Forest Preserve District worked with Winfield and the Winfield Riverwalk Committee to make the $2.9 million project a reality.
Winfield Village President Erik Spande said the regional trail segment, expected to be completed early next year, will be significant for the town.
“This is going to go right through the area where the (village’s proposed) riverwalk park is planned,” Spande said Thursday. “So it’s kind of the linchpin for that project.”
The 10-foot-wide trail will start at the Illinois Prairie Path — south of Geneva Road — and run south along the West Branch of the DuPage River. It then will cut through downtown Winfield before going west along Beecher Avenue and north along Wynwood Road. The final stretch will go west through West DuPage Woods and connect with existing trails.
“This is going to connect existing trail segments that are otherwise isolated,” Spande said. “It brings in Winfield parks. It brings in Central DuPage Hospital and the Metra station.”
In addition to creating opportunities for recreation and appreciating nature, the regional trail will bring new customers to Winfield’s businesses, Spande said.
Meanwhile, forest preserve officials said the new segment is one of the links remaining to complete the West Branch DuPage River Trail, a proposed 23-mile regional trail that begins in Hanover Park and runs south through DuPage. The trail becomes the DuPage River Trail in Will County.
To pay for the 3-mile segment, the forest preserve and the village received $2.2 million in federal money through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program administered by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The forest preserve then contributed $538,000 for the project. The village contributed $184,000.