The Winfield Riverwalk will be part of the nationally-recognized regional trail system in DuPage County, and connect the Illinois Prairie Path trail system to the north with the Naperville trail system to the south.

 

Executive summary

The Winfield Riverwalk is proposed as a multi-use trail that extends along the West Branch of the DuPage River between Geneva Road and West DuPage Woods Forest Preserve. The Winfield Riverwalk will be part of the nationally-recognized regional trail system in DuPage County, and connect the Illinois Prairie Path trail system to the north with the Naperville trail system to the south.  The project design creates an attractive, signature destination as part of Town Center redevelopment that promotes economic development and expands community walk-ability.

The Village has partnered with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to develop the Riverwalk. The Forest Preserve will be responsible for the costs of the Riverwalk within its own boundaries.  The Village of Winfield will be responsible for costs of the main trail and the “Core” area within Village limits to be primarily funded by grants, corporate and individual donations, and developer-related improvements. In this way it will be managed and funded like the Winfield Pedestrian Underpass – grants and donations should ultimately equal design and construction costs, and key funding will be acquired before construction starts. 

This executive summary provides an overview of the Riverwalk project process and finances for the portions of the project that are within the Village of Winfield.  The Winfield Riverwalk has three distinct phases: Conceptual Design, Engineering, and Construction.  Each phase has specific tasks, costs and timelines. Exhibit 1 shows the alignment of the Riverwalk, and the portions of the project that are within Winfield and within the Forest Preserve. Exhibit 2 shows the process, an outline of costs, and timelines.

 

Conceptual Design

The Conceptual Design of the Winfield Riverwalk between Geneva Road and Highlake Road was completed by Gary Weber Associates for the Village of Winfield in 2009.  Gary Weber’s professional relationship with the Village has proven instrumental in developing the vision into a plan. The 2009 design report included the general alignment of the path, proposed amenities, and visualization of features. The conceptual design identified the naturalistic path in the Forest Preserve, with a more urban portion of the Riverwalk near the Winfield Town Center. This urban portion, or “Core Area” (see Exhibit 1) includes amenities such as interpretive gardens, gazebos, and park-like features. Riverwalk-related costs for engineering and construction were estimated in the 2009 Gary Weber report and are attached.  Following approval of the concept plan, the Riverwalk Committee incorporated as the Advocates of the Winfield Riverwalk non-profit 501c3 in early 2010 and began fundraising, while the Village negotiated all necessary easement agreements to secure property rights for construction of the Riverwalk in Winfield.  The conceptual design work and easement related costs to the Village totaled $69,000.

Engineering

In June 2011 the Village received proposals for the engineering and architectural design of the Core Area of the Riverwalk project, which is located within the Town Center and TIF District. The Riverwalk Committee subsequently reviewed proposals at their July 5, 2011 meeting and recommended the Village Board award an engineering services agreement to Engineering Resource Associates of Warrenville in the amount of $140,000, and award an architectural design services agreement to Gary Weber Associates of Wheaton in the amount of $68,000, for a combined total cost of $208,000.  Funding for these services is available through of use of $40,000 raised so far by the Advocates of the Winfield Riverwalk, use of an $80,000 match pledged by CDH, and $100,000 in TIF funds budgeted by the Village for Riverwalk development within the TIF District.  Additional fund raising by the Advocates is ongoing.

Construction

In March 2011 the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County joined with the Village of Winfield to submit a $ 3.6M Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant for the main trail of the Riverwalk project in Winfield, running from Geneva Road to an existing path system located with West DuPage Woods Forest Preserve (Exhibit 1). The grant awardees will be announced in late 2011. If the Winfield Riverwalk is successful in receiving the grant, the grant will pay for 80% of the engineering and construction costs for the main path on both Village and Forest Preserve sections.  Winfield and the Forest Preserve would each be responsible for the 20% match costs within their respective jurisdictions.

Why it works

Our Winfield Riverwalk is an example of a project that will not only be a catalyst for revitalizing our (and perhaps neglected) waterways, but our entire community - and that's before we talk about a common community place to meet up at for families and kids alike.

Our Riverwalk also could serve as the location for our community events along with provide opportunities for a mix of new businesses, leisure, and cultural uses helping our village become a detestation.

Recreation enhancements such as our Riverwalk are also important in attracting new business. Small Business owners in particular have made this point known by seeking out areas or new locations close to Riverwalks, or trails. As we see changes in our economy and emerging lifestyle changes, we have more people looking for a different (or more) quality of life features in the towns they choose to live (and work).

Obviously, the strategies to keep downtown strong must be multi-faceted, and the provision of a riverwalk system, linkages with bike trails and urban plaza development alone cannot transform our community.

However, almost all successful downtown vitality strategies require the community to make the downtown more pedestrian-friendly along with attractions which draw visitors into their town” to the recreation, entertainment, retail and/or other mixed-use activities.

Some of the next steps for the Village would include the following:

•  (REPLACE)Negotiate and approve an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Forest Preserve. The IGA will outline each entity’s responsibilities, including costs, payment schedules, and maintenance. The Forest Preserve would serve as lead agency and be responsible for grant administration.

• (REPLACE) Pay upfront the cost for engineering the main path, est. at $241,000 during the 2011-2015 period. 80% ($193,000) of this cost would be reimbursed to the Village, for a net engineering cost of $48,000.

• (REPLACE) Total cost estimate to Winfield for its 20% matching share of the CMAQ grant is $257,000 ($48,000 for engineering and $209,000 for construction).

 


More than 80 miles of trails, from invigorating 30-minute rides to leisurely afternoon loops - once our Riverwalk is complete it not only will become part of the trail system, it’ll connect our Village from the North to the South and all points beyond...
— Winfield Riverwalk Committee

What We've Achieved

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