Jackson Creek Relocation and Restoration

Jackson Creek Headwaters Preserve (FPDWC), Frankfort, IL
Project Period: 2006 – 2013

Project Highlights
  • ~$1 Million Construction Project
  • ~$200,000 Contract in Native Vegetation and Erosion Control Installation, Maintenance and Monitoring
  • Stabilization of 1,360-ft section of relocated Jackson Creek (Class B stream)
  • 2 acres of wet prairie and 24 acres of mesic prairie restoration
  • 5 year maintenance and monitoring program

As suburbs grow and develop, so too must the supporting infrastructure. When an arterial road in the Village of Frankfort required widening, a channelized portion of Jackson Creek needed to be relocated for public safety reasons.
Channelized Jackson Creek
prior to relocation.
The Village supported a LRMG plan to relocate a quarter-mile section of Jackson Creek away from Steger Road and allow it to m eander within its widened floodplain. The result is a renewed creek bed which emulates “pre-settlement” conditions of a Northeastern Illinois stream. So instead of being confined to a straightened ditch, water now courses through a meandering, braided flow pattern. During storm events, water readily enters the floodplain saturating sections of the 27-acre reintroduced native Illinois prairie habitat, providing flood storage.

Some of the critical elements of the design include stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as settling basins and level spreaders for culvert discharges prior to entering the creek. This was an especially scrutinized feature of the plan due to the involvement of the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

Relocated Jackson Creek with widened floodplain
and restored with native vegetation.
LRMG was involved in all phases of the project including wetland delineation, Section 404 permitting with the Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of Natural Resource, engineering and landscape design of the meandering channel, best management practices, and upland buffer. In addition to design services, LRMG was also contracted by the Village to complete all aspects of stream stabilization including bio-engineered banks, in-stream grade control structure (coir rolls, tree trunks, cobble dumps), native seeding, and installation of over 15,000 live native emergent wetland plant plugs.

LRMG has successfully completed three years of the five-year maintenance and monitoring (M&M) program per project specifications. M&M work includes selective herbicide applications, enrichment seeding and ecological mowing. Progress of the maintenance work and monitoring results are reported to the Village, Forest Preserve District, and Army Corps of Engineers. The Forest Preserve District will take over the long-term maintenance by the end of year 2014.

(The project's) design was enthusiastically received and approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Forest Preserve District of Will County, and Village of Frankfort. The project has been widely proclaimed for its design by both State and National floodplain and stormwater management organizations for its design and integration of native plant material.

Howard E. Sloan
Assistant Village Administrator (Retired), Village of Frankfort