Winnetka extends flooding study
Winnetka, 07/23/11 Winnetka Public Works employee Mickey Thorpe uses six pumps and hundreds of feet of hose to drain a flooded pumping station at the corner of Ash Street and Hibbard Road Saturday night. The heavy rain flooded the pumping station making it unable to work efficiently. Homes near Willow and Hibbard near Duke Childs Field experienced heavy flooding in the streets that poured over into basements. |Allen Kaleta~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 28, 2012 2:14PM
WINNETKA — The Village Council recently looked at six previously unstudied flood areas of the village as trustees continue to build towards a formal stormwater master plan.
At their Dec. 11 study session the council viewed data for the six areas, which have experienced flooding, but is generally less severe than the eight areas previously studied for the village by Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
For this study, the village enlisted the help of Baxter & Woodman to evaluate flooding and develop proposed improvements for each of the six areas. The study used the same methodology and modeling as the previously studied areas.
“We recognize there’s a whole lot of moving pieces with regards to stormwater management,” Village Engineer Steve Saunders said. “We’re not only looking at pipe-in-the-ground solutions, but regulations, stormwater quality and quantity, floodplain issues and maintenance.”
A majority of the proposed improvements call for increasing existing drainage pipe sizes and were made under the assumption the proposed Willow Road tunnel will have been constructed.
Mark Phipps of Baxter & Woodman recommended the village maintain connections with an intercepting sanitary sewer operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in study areas C (north-central Winnetka) and O (central Winnetka along Green Bay Road), if possible, as a way to reduce costs.
The permitted connections to the MWRD were constructed during the railroad grade separation in the 1930s, but Phipps notes the MWRD is developing a plan to reduce the frequency of combined sewer outflows. That plan may include requirements that municipalities disconnect from the combined sewer system.
The costs of the proposed improvements for the six areas is expected to be in the $8 million range.
The council appeared to favor taking more time to study the areas further and come back to the proposed projects at a later date.
“We’re not excluding anybody,” Trustee Richard Kates said. “We’re taking the data and studies and saying we’re going to circle back to this and deal with it at an appropriate time in the future.”
The discussion was one part of the larger master plan, which intends to provide 100-year level flood protection to the entire village, if implemented fully.
“We’re looking at all potential improvements that could be done,” Saunders said. “As that’s developed, a big part of the discussion is determining priority and funding for a variety of improvements. Some of which are already underway (in northwest and northeast Winnetka), some are mid-term (the proposed Willow Road tunnel) and some are long-term. It’s a fairly long time horizon to implement some or all of the projects.”