Elawa Parking Lot Improvement Project

Located at 1401 Middlefork Drive, the Elawa Parking Lot Improvement Project includes reconstructing the existing asphalt parking lot, expanding the parking lot to the north, improving the traffic flow through the parking lot, and enhancing the landscaping near the street. Additionally, the project includes improving sidewalk connectivity and adding a bioswale west of the parking area to filter stormwater.

The Elawa Parking Lot currently has a capacity of 40 cars and the Lake County Forest Preserve gravel parking lot to the west accommodates approximately 40 additional cars. The existing total capacity of 80 spaces is often exceeded between the multiple users of this area which include: Lake County Forest Preserve users of the Middlefork Savanna, Elawa Park users, Elawa Farm Foundation, and Lake Forest Open Lands users. The expanded parking lot to the north will be able to accommodate around 30 additional cars to meet current demand.

Beginning in 2022, the City has had discussions with the Middlefork Farm Homeowners’ Association Board and Elawa Farm Foundation about the need for additional parking to minimize congestion on adjacent streets and about parking lot expansion plans. In response to feedback, the City engaged a local landscape architect who is familiar with Elawa and the Middlefork Farm neighborhood to incorporate landscape screening as part of the project on the north and east sides of the expanded parking lot to limit the visual impact to neighbors.

The project is expected to begin in early April and be complete by mid-May 2024, weather permitting.

Project Scope
Elawa Parking Lot Scope Graphic 3.2024

Anticipated Impacts
During construction, you can expect:

- Access will be maintained to the existing parking lot for a majority of the project and most of the activity will occur in the footprint of the expanded parking lot to the north. There will be some temporary parking space closures in the existing lot for reconfiguration of the islands and concrete placement.
- During excavation of the expanded parking lot, trucks will be hauling materials and delivering gravel. Excavation is expected to take a few weeks.
- Both parking lots will be completely closed for a few days while the lots are paved, and parking stalls are painted. The closure is estimated for late April (weather dependent) and signs will be posted prior to the closure.
- Some noise and dust from construction activities such as milling, paving, and grading.
- Employee parking will be along Jensen Drive.
- Working hours will be primarily Monday-Friday from 7 am-7 pm and as needed, Saturday-Sunday from 8 am-6 pm. Hours will be adjusted to avoid evening and weekend programs at Elawa Farm.

Stay Informed
Our goal is to limit surprises and ensure residents are aware of construction activities. For the latest information, visit the project webpage at cityoflakeforest.com/ElawaParkingLot.

Construction Contact
Lead Project Manager Bernard Pondexter at (847) 810-3556 or pondextb@cityoflakeforest.com

Stay Informed!