Construction is set to start Monday to reroute and replace two old natural gas pipelines that run underground through the Busse Forest Nature Preserve at Busse Woods near Elk Grove Village.
Nicor Gas is removing the two pipelines -- installed in 1958 and 1970 -- that currently cut into the preserve near Picnic Grove 3, and putting in new lines along a route that's closer to the Jane Addams Tollway.
The project will result in the loss of hundreds of trees along the northern edge of Busse Woods, but over time, the old pipeline route will restore itself with a continuous stretch of healthy woodland, according to Forest Preserves of Cook County officials. Expanding the current corridor, they say, would have resulted in more ecological damage to the oak woodlands.
Once construction is complete, the route will be maintained as a natural looking "high mowed" corridor to allow Nicor to access the pipeline area and to prevent woody vegetation from establishing, officials added.
Nicor Gas is paying the Forest Preserves $4.3 million in tree mitigation, license and other fees to retire the old pipelines and construct the new ones. The money will be used for ecological restoration work at Busse Woods and other sites, picnic shelter repairs and wayfinding signage improvements, officials said.