Village flood victims receive relief

Dozens of northeast Hinsdale residents whose homes were infiltrated by flood waters in June are being compensated for the damage caused after flooding was blamed on work related to the Central Tri-State Tollway expansion project.

A majority of the 61 claimants are on the path to resolution with Walsh Construction, village manager Kathleen Gargano reported Wednesday in response to The Hinsdalean’s inquiry. Walsh, an Illinois Tollway subcontractor, was faulted by the Tollway for work violations that “significantly contributed” to the flooding after heavy rains fell across the area June 26.

“(Walsh has) been in contact with all of the claimants and have settled or are in the process of settling more than half of the outstanding claims,” Gargano stated.

That’s up from the 36 percent figure Gargano cited at the Nov. 16 village board meeting.

In an Aug. 17 letter from the Tollway to Walsh obtained by The Hinsdalean, the Tollway asserted that “Walsh failed to comply with applicable construction requirements and specifications” and “created an obstruction that impeded the flow of water.”

However several affected residents attended the Oct. 5 village board meeting to express frustration at the lack of progress in having their damage claims resolved. Village President Tom Cauley subsequently sent a letter to the Tollway to relay that message. The Tollway’s Oct. 14 response indicated it was working toward resolution.

“The Tollway has begun the process of considering and evaluating the various claims, which previously were submitted to Walsh,” the letter read. “Both the Tollway and Walsh will be reviewing claims, and ... the claim will be resolved in the appropriate manner.”

The correspondence also noted that resident John Bloomfield had communicated to Gargano that Walsh representatives met with claimants Oct. 12 and had hired an independent hydrologist to investigate the matter.

“They had committed to have ... payout figures by the first and second week of November and wrapped up by year-end,” Bloomfield detailed.

Assistant village manager Brad Bloom told The Hinsdalean Walsh had reimbursed the village a total of $40,400 for expenses incurred in televising the sewer system to determine damage, engineering services related to the flooding and scheduling a special trash pickup for affected residents. Another claim related to damage to the public services facility mechanics area is pending.

Walsh also made repairs at no expense to the village to the intersection of Walnut Street and County Line Road, including sewer repairs, street reconstruction, curbs and gutter replacement and repairs to parkway areas.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean