Village, Tollway agree on detention basin
Last updated 9/7/2022 at 3:42pm | View PDF
The village is poised to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois Tollway to install an underground stormwater detention system along the 600 block of Harding Road as part of the Interstate 294 expansion project
At Tuesday’s village board meeting, trustees held a first read of an agreement under which the Tollway will design and construct an underground detention vault on the site of five properties it acquired in the 600 block of Harding Road.
In presenting the plan, Trustee Neale Byrnes said the Tollway originally had a different concept in mind for its flood mitigation solution.
“Their plan was to have an open-surface water detention area that would be surrounded by an eight-foot chain-link fence. Not exactly picturesque,” Byrnes said.
Village officials asked the Tollway to look into the cost difference between a surface system and an underground solution, according to Byrnes. Ultimately, the Tollway agreed to the less obtrusive approach.
“They’ll basically put a crib under there that will handle all the water,” Byrnes said, noting its natural fit in the area with parkland immediately to the south. “It will be covered with grass, and this will just be an extension of Woodland Park.”
Village President Tom Cauley said village officials engaged in protracted negotiations with the Tollway on the matter, giving special credit to assistant village manager Brad Bloom and attorney Bill Ryan, who was hired to represent the village on Tollway issues.
Cauley cited the installation of underground storage cribs in recent years near the Highland train station parking lot and near Kensington School at Madison Street and Ogden Avenue.
“We haven’t had any flooding on Madison, and that used to flood every time we got heavy rains,” he remarked.
The Tollway will bear the cost of installing the detention tank and landscaping the site once completed. The village, which will permit the Tollway to remove 58 trees on the site if necessary as part of the project, will be responsible for maintaining the grounds. The Tollway is responsible for maintaining the underground storage, and the village is prohibited from placing any structure on the property.
Cauley called the agreement a “victory” for the village, and especially residents of the Woodlands who live near the site.
“The expansion of the tollway’s bad enough, but to add this insult to injury to this neighborhood was just too much,” he said. “It seemed to us to be a very good deal. I think having a park will ameliorate some of the detraction that comes from widening the Tollway.”
Trustees are expected to approve the agreement at their Tuesday, Sept. 20, meeting.