Construction Work On $100M Bellwood Detention Pond To Start In Coming Weeks

Monday, September 24, 2018 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews || Updated: 9/26/18

Featured image: The site of what will be the Addison Creek reservoir within 18 months after construction starts sometime in the next several weeks. | File 

Construction on a long-anticipated reservoir north of Washington Boulevard, near Addison Creek, in Bellwood, could start within the next several weeks, according to Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey.

During a regular meeting on Sept. 19, the Bellwood Board of Trustees unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to maintain the reservoir.

At that meeting, Harvey said that construction work on the project is currently going out for bid. The reclamation district could choose a bidder by the end of this year, with construction scheduled to start shortly afterward.

Harvey added that, as of Sept. 19, the reclamation district has already completed  most of the demolition necessary for the reservoir, with only some minor work still to be done.

The mayor said that he expected the reservoir to be finished “18 to 24 months” from when construction on the 600-foot reservoir begins. Construction is projected to cost around $100 million, according to the reclamation district.

Once the reservoir is complete, the reclamation district will work on a series of “channel improvements” to the creek and its banks that is expected to cost around $48 million. In Bellwood, those improvements will include rebuilding the walls and removing three bridges along the spot where the creek parallels Eisenhower Expressway.

Bellwood dention pond_4

The site of what will be the Addison Creek reservoir, which is expected to pull hundreds of homes out of the floodplain. | File 

According to the reclamation district, construction contracts aren’t expected to be awarded until summer 2019 at the earliest, and construction related to those additional improvements won’t be finished until at least 2021.

The detention pond is one of the two measures that aim to address flooding along the creek, which is a longstanding issue in Bellwood. Harvey said that Bellwood has 900 homes on the floodplain. He said that, after the pond is constructed, 800 homes will no longer be flooded, and the property owners for remaining 100 homes will see their insurance premiums reduced.

Flooding has also been an ongoing issue in other communities through which Addison Creek flows, including Northlake, Stone Park, Melrose Park, Broadview and Westchester.

The reclamation district began planning a solution in 2011. While it originally considered putting a reservoir in Melrose Park, issues with property ownership, among challenges, led it to consider an alternative site.

Aside from the properties in Bellwood, two properties will be removed from the flood plain in Broadview, 218 in Melrose Park and 183 in Stone Park. According to the water reclamation project document, a total of 1,707 structures will be protected from flooding. VFP 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article included an incorrect total estimated amount of the detention pond project. This article has been updated for clarity. VFP regrets the error.

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