Partners with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) officially broke ground on a $1.6 million flood control project that will bring much needed relief for area residents, while restoring and improving forest preserve amenities at Arrowhead Lake.
Officials from the MWRD, City of Palos Heights and Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) gathered to formally kick off the Arrowhead Lake project, 7016 W. 135th St., in the Forest Preserves. The project will increase flood storage and remove 70 structures from the FEMA Zone A flood plain in Palos Heights, where flood insurance is mandatory due to the area being inundated by a 1-percent-annual-chance of a flood event.
“This project demonstrates our commitment to protecting communities from flooding and reminds us of the battle we face in alleviating residents’ concerns each time we experience intense rain storms,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “Thanks to the collaboration with our partners at the Cook County Forest Preserves, the city of Palos Heights and the Cal-Sag Watershed Planning Council, we will now have protection from flooding as well as new trails and an improved forest preserve to attract visitors to beautiful Arrowhead Lake.”
“It’s only fitting that it’s raining today – this is exactly why stormwater management projects are important – wet weather events are growing in number and intensity, so this project, which has been a long time coming, will help a lot of people,” said MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan.
As part of the project, the existing dam and outlet culvert will be demolished and replaced with a new concrete dam, outlet culvert and spillway. Approximately 2,675 feet of a multi-use pedestrian path will also be resurfaced with new asphalt and an eroded bank at the south side of Arrowhead Lake will be regraded and restored with native seed, plant plugs and trees.
“This will be a flood control and recreation project that benefits both neighbors and Forest Preserve users. We’re pleased to be working in a partnership that will continue to improve the amenities for the local community and all residents of Cook County,” said FPCC General Superintendent Arnold Randall.
Pedestrian access to the FPCC trail system will be maintained during construction through a series of temporary bypass trails. Work is expected to be completed by late 2019.
“This is a great example of numerous agencies working together for the good of the residents,” said Palos Heights Mayor Robert Straz.
Long-term maintenance responsibilities for the site have been defined through an intergovernmental agreement between the MWRD, FPCC and Palos Heights.
“I’d like to thank MWRD and President Kari K. Steele, the city of Palos Heights, and the Cook County Forest Preserves for addressing flooding issues that affect my constituents,” said 35th District State Representative Fran Hurley. “This exciting project is the result of agencies working together to find solutions.”
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