The Independence Grove Dog Exercise Area will be closed through November as part of construction work on Route 21 and Route 137 in Libertyville, according to the Lake County Forest Preserves website.
The construction project includes improvements to the dog area and a new trail underpass at Casey Road and Route 21 is being constructed. The underpass will link Libertyville Township's Casey Trail and Greenway to the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway and to Independence Grove Forest Preserve on the east side of 21.
A new sidewalk is also being installed along Route 21 and Route 137 and will provide access to Independence Grove, according to the news release.
The four-lane road construction project along Route 21 and Route 137 is expected to be open in early 2014.
- For project updates, check IDOT's construction status page.
Independence Grove Dog Exercise Area, located on Route 21 just north of Route 137, closed on July 29 and is expected to remain closed through November as IDOT crews complete the following improvements:
- Remove and reconstruct the existing Dog Area parking lot to raise it as much as 7 feet in areas so it's level with the new road
- Install a retaining wall along the east side of the Dog Area parking lot
- Remove and replace most of the existing Dog Area fencing along Route 21
- Install dedicated left turn lane into the Dog Exercise Area
- View the project map online or in the Lake County Forest Preserves graphic above.
While the Independence Grove site is closed, regular visitors are encouraged to explore the three other off-leash Dog Exercise Areas that are available to all permit holders: Lakewood, Duck Farm and Prairie Wolf.
Nearby Lake Carina Forest Preserve, on Route 21 just north of Gages Lake Road, offers a 1-mile mowed grass trail that encircles the lake. Dogs must be leashed when visiting this preserve.
Lake County Forest Preserve maintenance crews will take advantage of the Dog Area closure to make the following preserve enhancements:
- Improve trail and path areas
- Clear brush
- Conduct tree maintenance
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