Due to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve's popularity and to improve visitor safety, the District has approved construction of a larger parking lot near the intersection of Bluff Road and Cass Avenue in the southeast part of the preserve.
The project will include removing the small campground lot, rerouting the regional trail and installing a new 180-car asphalt parking lot, which will include a new trailhead and accommodate a future flush washroom.
The proposed lot is a 2019 certified masterplan project that will add parking for 180 cars, create a .3-acre picnic area, allow expansion for a future flush washroom, improve trailhead access and reduce many pedestrian and user conflicts near the intersection of Cass Avenue and Bluff Road.
The design will be coordinated with an ongoing natural resource restoration project to minimize disruption to the preserve, improve public safety, lessen impacts to natural resources and enhance the overall visitor experience. The lot is expected to open by the end of October 2022.
Construction drawings were submitted for permits in February 2022, and the project will go out to bid in spring 2022. Construction will begin in summer 2022 and be complete by the end of October 2022. A separate bid went out for tree removal and other site preparations, which will be done in early spring 2022.
Approximately $2 million has been budgeted in yearly appropriated capital development funds to cover all costs associated with the design, permitting, and construction of the new parking lot and trail improvements.