Proksa Park Flood Control Groundbreaking Jump-Starts Drainage Improvements
The project will construct underdrains, an underground storm water detention facility and a flood control structure
To kick-off a greatly needed flood relief project that has been years in the making, representatives from the Berwyn Park District, the city of Berwyn and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) dug shovels into the ground at Proksa Park to signify the start of flood reduction initiatives.
The ceremony comes after several years of discussions, negotiations and design. The project incorporates underdrains, or perforated pipes, that are buried beneath the soil and will facilitate drainage from the playing fields and park areas following a storm event. An underground storm water detention facility will be constructed, along with a flood control structure to regulate the rate of discharge from the storage facility into the combined sewer.
The planned improvements are designed to handle the rainfall from projected 100-year storms.
Because Berwyn has a combined sewer system, sanitary sewage and storm water drain into the same pipes and during heavy rainstorms, the pipes may overflow, which can lead to flooding. Because of its topography, Proksa Park becomes flooded, along with nearby basements. As a result, the Berwyn Park District voted to pursue this major reconstruction project and received a state-funded grant of $1,000,000 provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as part of the State of Illinois Capital Bond Program. The city is allocating $85,000 and the park district is contributing $150,000 towards additional improvements. The MWRD provided the necessary permitting and project support.
The Proksa Park Project coincides with the Liberty Cultural Center parking lot development. Improvements slated for the parking lot include the installation of permeable pavers that will be placed on a 12-in. stone base. The parking lot will include underdrains to convey excess storm water to a storm sewer, and a flood control structure will be installed to regulate the rate of discharge from the parking lot into the combined sewer.
Permeable pavers are one type of green infrastructure tool that helps water infiltrate into the ground and can help prevent water from entering sewers, which can lead to flooding.
“The Proksa Park updates and improvements to the Liberty Cultural Center parking lot are examples of how green infrastructure can be incorporated at an existing developed site,” said MWRD Commissioner Michael Alvarez. “The MWRD appreciates the work that went in to pursuing this project, and we are happy to have played a small part in this effort.”
Construction on both projects is slated for completion by the end of October.
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