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Shorewood approves $8.43 million sewer rehab plan

Repairs would protect 2,890 properties

May 25, 2011

Shorewood - The Village Board on Monday approved a sanitary and storm drainage plan that, if implemented, would repair and replace infrastructure to some of the hardest hit areas of the village in last summer's heavy rainfalls.

The detailed document includes plans to spend more than $8.43 million in sanitary and storm sewer repairs through 2014 along portions of Capitol Drive, Glendale Avenue, Kensington Boulevard, Newhall Street, Olive Street, Wildwood Avenue and Wilson Drive.

"This is the board going on record," Village President Guy Johnson said. "We have a goal, and we're continuing on to the next step."

The sanitary and storm sewer repairs pertain to two of the basins in the village and affect 1,040 buildings, nearly all of them homes. Enhancements are designed to reduce the likelihood of basement backups and street flooding.

According to recent analysis and residents' reports, 325 homes in the village are subject to basement backups when two inches of rainfall occur within an hour, based on existing infrastructure. An additional 715 homes are at risk when three or four inches of rain fall within an hour.

Preliminary design work is scheduled to take place for a year, starting this summer. Construction work within one basin has been slated for summer and fall 2012. Construction within Basin No. 6 - the second area scheduled for enhancements - will likely take place in two phases, beginning in 2012 and wrapping up in 2014.

Village Engineer Mustafa Emir said road construction will be necessary to make the upgrades, and there will be periods of time when entire sections of a street will be closed to through traffic.

"It will be like an actual road construction job, only slower," Emir said. "The sanitary and storm sewer projects are designed to be done in concert with one another so the roads aren't ripped up twice."

The plan approved by the board also outlines steps to be taken for a combined sewer system in the village's northern and southern portions. More than $18.63 million has been earmarked for work along portions of Capitol Drive, Edgewood Avenue, Kensington Boulevard, Lake Bluff Boulevard, Murray Avenue, Oakland Avenue, Prospect Avenue and Wood Place.

The work, slated to begin this summer, is also designed to reduce the likelihood of basement backups. Based on study figures, 1,850 homes within both portions of the village are currently at risk of basement backups when four inches of rain fall within an hour.

In the northern portion of the village, construction is slated to begin this year in conjunction with work along Downer Avenue. Further construction is slated through 2015.

The proposed timeline for the southern portion extends further, beginning next year and finishing in 2019.

One additional component within the plan is the inflow and infiltration program - a proposal designed to reduce the likelihood of rain water getting into sanitary sewers during heavy rainfall. When such an instance occurs, sanitary sewers become overwhelmed and cause basement backups.

The long-term program, designed to stretch beyond 2022, includes a plan to test and identify leaky laterals and, over time, a plan to have homeowners disconnect existing downspouts and foundation drains. The I&I initiative, considered a policy decision, is still under review.

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