BUDA — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced last week it will oversee a road repair project beginning next week at Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area.
Once the road project is complete, the public will once again have full access to the park.
IDNR released information about the upcoming road work on its Facebook page last week, stating the project will include a culvert repair, widening of the road, aggregate base repair and sealcoating of the main road.
Road work will begin Monday, Aug. 19, and is expected to be completed Nov. 15, weather permitting.
IDNR stated it will oversee the project in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
While the repairs take place, the public will still be able to access the park by walking in from designated parking areas. Visitors will be prohibited from entering the construction area.
A section of the road that will be repaired has been closed down since 2015 due to deterioration and a washed-out culvert. Four years ago, the state shut down most of the access to the park, leaving only one of nine lakes accessible to the public.
Last summer, a campaign led by Buda Village Board member Lisa Aber helped jump-start people’s interest in getting the park reopened again. They claimed shutting down the park had hindered tourism in western Bureau County. After making phone calls and writing letters to state representatives and senators, the state reopened more sections of the park, but still limited access to the road that contained the washed-out culvert.
Once the road and culvert are repaired this year, the public will have access to the entire park, which consists of 871 acres of land and nine lakes.
The Mautino Fish and Wildlife Area is located just west of Buda.