The Northwest Municipal Conference, in partnership with eight of its member municipalities and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, selected Gewalt Hamilton as part of a planning team to develop a corridor plan for over 12 miles of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT). The objective of the plan is to serve as a guide for the Forest Preserve and adjacent communities to make the trail a regional destination that is easy to get to by all modes of transportation – walking, biking, transit and driving. With the plan in hand, the Conference, Forest Preserve and interested municipalities will have a clear vision for the trail and be able to move forward in seeking grants for engineering and construction.

Gewalt Hamilton is an industry leader in working with municipalities and agencies to put in place the groundwork for changes that truly transform their communities. We pride ourselves on our practical planning know-how that is built from a solid civil engineering foundation. This plan was no exception as it sets forth a series of recommendations to improve access between the Des Plaines River Trail and its adjacent communities through crossing safety, connectivity, wayfinding, destination signage, and trailhead enhancements; all in recognition of the trail being a major economic and recreational asset to the area. Gewalt Hamilton’s role on the planning team focused on providing a GIS inventory of trail attributes, identifying typologies to increase safety at the trail’s 25 roadway crossings, as well as formalizing trail design principals to accommodate walking, biking, equestrian, canoe and kayak users. Community outreach was a key part of the planning process that benefited from Gewalt Hamilton having previously worked in or with all of the participating communities.

Note: The Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) is a regional council of government representing over 40 municipalities and covering approximately 300 square miles in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.