West Branch Hydraulic Improvements & Restoration Project

DuPage County Stormwater Management


Warrenville, IL

The approximately 3,500’ section of the West Branch River targeted for this project flows through DuPage County and DuPage Forest Preserve property. The subject reach had become hydrologically disconnected from the surrounding floodplain, diminishing potential habitat and function.

ENCAP, Inc. served as the sub-contractor for this project, ultimately responsible for the installation and management of native communities along a 1.8 mile stretch of the West Branch of the DuPage River. Restoration activities included native planting and ecological management of 3 constructed backwater/floodplain wetlands and adjacent wet meadow, sedge meadow, mesic prairie, shady floodplain and mesic savanna plant communities. To improve vegetative diversity and habitat complexity, ENCAP, Inc. also installed500 native trees and shrubs as well as ~50,000 native plugs throughout the restoration areas.

The ultimate result of the project was a raised river profile within the reach to more frequently flood the lower floodplain and thus improve floodplain function and habitat. After a prescribed burn in 2018, ENCAP, Inc. successfully closed out the project meeting all final performance criteria and formal approval from DuPage County and the Chicago District USACE.

EarthWerks, Corp. was the prime contractor on the West Branch project and performed all earthwork and heavy construction activities, with ENCAP, Inc. subcontracted to perform all restoration, native plantings, and ecological maintenance work. The project started in late summer of 2013 and completed in July of 2014with all construction and installation activities. The heavy construction was performed utilizing a long reach tracked excavator, one mid-sized excavator, a wide tracked dozer, a tracked haul truck, and two tracked skid steers. All construction was performed in the wet including floodplain shaping, grading, and riffle construction. Seeding and placement of 100% biodegradable erosion control blanket was completed immediately upon final grading to protect from erosion and begin establishment of the native plantings. Tree and shrub planting was also completed upon final grading in the Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014. All live herbaceous plugs were installed in May-June of 2014. Maintenance and stewardship activities concluded in the Fall of 2018.

West Branch
West Branch