The limestone and concrete dam in the DuPage River at the Hammel Woods forest preserve in Shorewood has been removed and the site has reopened for public use, the Will County Forest Preserve District announced.
The river is open to paddlers and the new kayak/canoe launch built downstream of the old launch is also open for use, according to a news release. The dam was in the southernmost portion of the preserve, an area known as Grinton Grove, just north of Route 52.
“I’m glad that the forest preserve district had this opportunity to make such a positive impact on the ecology of the DuPage River while also enhancing safety and recreational enjoyment for paddlers,” Ralph Schultz, the district’s executive director, said in a statement.
The dam was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps to create a recreational pool when there was less water in the river. But studies by the Conservation Foundation in 2003 and by the forest preserve district in 2017 showed the river would be healthier without the dam because aquatic creatures would be free to move upstream. The site is also safer for paddlers who travel the river because they won’t have to navigate around the dam.