The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) owns and maintains the Hammel Woods Dam and impoundment located along the DuPage River in the Hammel Woods Forest Preserve. The Hammel Woods Dam is approximately 80-90 years old and is constructed of quarried limestone with a concrete foundation. The dam is a run-of-river structure approximately 110 feet wide, about 4 feet high, with an impoundment area of approximately 5.2 acres. The FPDWC conducted an assessment of the dam in 2003 that provided physical, chemical, and biological data above and below the dam, a dam inspection to document its condition, along with alternative solutions to correct the problems it has caused in the river.
The alternatives considered as part of that 2003 assessment included:
• No-build/no action
• Dam Modification – Rock Ramp
• Dam Modification – Fish Ladder
• Dam Modification – Partial Removal w/Rapids-Riffles
• Removal – Above Grade Removal w/Rapids-Riffles
Previous investigations of the site revealed that the Hammel Woods Dam
impedes aquatic species movement upstream, forces paddlers to portage around the structure under most flow conditions, and presents a life threatening hazard to paddlers who go over the dam or for persons wading the river immediately below the dam. As such, the FPDWC was interested in updating these previously identified alternative solutions in order to select a preferred alternative The selected alternative included removal of the exiting structure below existing river grade, a low flow section for paddlers, a stone enhancement/riffle feature, and an ADA accessible canoe/kayak launch. Removal of the dam was completed in 2021.
WBK was selected by FPDWC to provide the following services as our team worked with FPDWC staff to remove the Hammel Woods Dam.
• Topographic Survey of the Project/River Reach Area
• Wetlands Assessment
• Sediment Sampling/Analysis
• Alternatives Analysis and Estimates of Cost
• Final Design Plans, Specifications, and Costs
• Project Permitting (USACE, IDNR, Will County)
• Phase III Construction Oversight Services