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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Forest Park Review: Forest Park’s fourth and fifth green alleyways will reduce flooding between the 800 and 900 blocks of Marengo and Circle Ave.

Forest Park’s village council unanimously awarded the contract for the 2024 green alley project to Nardulli Concrete, Inc. at its council meeting May 13.  

The village council also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing a proposal for the project from Burke Engineering, the village’s engineering contractor. Mayor Rory Hoskins was absent from the council meeting. 

Green alleyway in Forest Park
The 800 and 900 blocks of Marengo and Circle Ave. follow the green alleys in the 500 block Thomas-Beloit alley, the 100 block of Harlem-Elgin alley, and the Elgin-Marengo alley between Lexington and Harvard, pictured here | Jessica Mordacq

This year’s project will add two green alleyways to Forest Park’s existing three. The new additions, between the 800 and 900 blocks of Marengo Ave. and Circle Ave., will help to reduce flooding in those areas. 

Nardulli Concrete will replace these two asphalt alleyways with concrete and permeable pavers, which sit in the middle of the alley lengthwise. Nardulli Concrete will also re-pitch the slope of the alleys so that water drains to the center, toward the pavers. 

Green alleys help water to seep into the ground, rather than sitting on top of it. This means fewer potholes and less flooding after a big rain — at least 47,000 gallons of water during “any given rain event,” said officials from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The district has helped fund these green alleys since the village received its first grant from the organization in 2018.  

“The benefits are that you’re conserving water. You’re allowing more water to infiltrate into the ground and waterways, which is a good thing for the environment,” Sal Stella, Forest Park’s director of public works, previously told the Forest Park Review. “It’s a good thing for MWRD because you’re getting less water going into their system to get treated.”  

Forest Park will pay $353,000 for this year’s green alley project, and the MWRD will cover about 70% of the cost, or $494,000.

The village received bids from four construction companies and chose “the lowest responsible and qualified bidder,” according to the officials. Nardulli Concrete’s bid was the only one whose cost came in under Burke Engineering’s estimated $778,150 to complete the project. Nardulli Concrete bid $735,388.25. 

After Nardulli Concrete completes Forest Park’s fourth and fifth green alleyways by the end of August, Forest Park will complete one more green alley in the next few years, as well as repave about 10 more alleys with concrete, but not as green alleyways, Stella has said. 

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Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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