Two popular Forest Preserve paths in Will County slated for major paving upgrades
A 7-mile section of the Old Plank Road Trail and all of Joliet Junction Trail will be repaired and repaved this year by the Forest Preserve District of Will County. (Photo by Forest Preserve staff | Glenn P. Knoblock)

Two of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s oldest trails will be upgraded this year as the District invests $1.37 million to repave and repair the popular paths. A 7-mile section of the Old Plank Road Trail will be repaved from Harlem Avenue in Frankfort to Schoolhouse Road in New Lenox. This section of the 22-mile trail opened 25 years ago this month. The entire Joliet Junction Trail will be repaved. This 19-year-old trail travels 4.36 miles from Theodore Marsh in Crest Hill to the I&M Canal Trail in Rockdale. Some sections of the paths will be cut out and replaced, others will receive an overlay of asphalt, said Adam Oestmann, project manager for the Forest Preserve’s Infrastructure Maintenance and Replacement Program. Both trails also will receive ADA upgrades including slope, tactile and visual improvements at cross streets. And turf wedges will be installed to minimize edge drop-off.

Earlier this month, the Forest Preserve District’s Board of Commissioners approved trail paving contracts with McGill Construction LLC of Frankfort. The OPRT contract totaled $765,183 and the JJT contract totaled $608,378. A 2.5-mile section of the OPRT from 108th Avenue to Pfeiffer Road is owned by the Village of Frankfort and the municipality will pay for this portion of the work. Both projects are scheduled to begin in mid- to late August and to be completed before November. But weather and other factors could delay the work. And an ongoing quarry strike could limit the availability of asphalt.

Some of the work will take place simultaneously and some will happen on one trail at a time. Trail closures will be necessary. Information about where the work is occurring will be posted on the Current Headlines section of the Forest Preserve District’s website.