$2M For La Grange Northside Flood Project

LA GRANGE, IL – La Grange is set to receive $2 million for a proposed project to store floodwater underground at a Lyons Township High School athletic field, an official announced this week.
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State Sen. Mike Porfirio, a La Grange Democrat, reported on the money at Monday’s Village Board meeting. He and Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, were credited with helping get the money.

In a news release Wednesday, the village called the proposed project “one of the most impactful” for addressing stormwater north of 47th Street.

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Last summer, the village contacted the high school about possibly installing an underground vault at one of the school’s fields three blocks west of North Campus. The school would then get to install an artificial turf field.

The project’s price tag is estimated at nearly $9 million. The village said it is seeking other sources of money.

Find out what's happening in La Grangewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

At a Village Board meeting in April, engineer Mike Burke of Rosemont-based Christopher Burke Engineering told officials that underground storage was the best way to handle flooding north of 47th.

He confirmed the intersection of Sunset and Elm avenues is ground zero for flooding north of 47th. A resident at that corner, Laura West, has spoken repeatedly about the problem at board meetings.

For years, the village has relied on its plan for the Maple Avenue Relief Sewer, or MARS, to address problems with flooding at Sunset and Elm, among other areas.

But Burke said that project would do relatively little to help Sunset and Elm in particular.

The proposed underground storage would hold 3.2 million gallons of water, according to the village.

In the release, Village President Mark Kuchler said he was pleased with the work of local state lawmakers.

“Through their efforts, we are well on our way of assembling the funds needed to move forward with this important project,” Kuchler said.

A couple of years ago, Elmhurst installed a tank under an athletic field at York High School. Officials hailed it as an example of cooperation between the two entities.

La Grange also has a plan for dealing with flooding south of 47th Street. It wants to build a storm sewer along 50th Street, with water deposited into the Heidelberg Materials quarry in McCook.

Last year, a Cook County judge sided with the village over the quarry in long-running litigation. Now, the matter is on appeal.

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