Wilmette Neighborhood Storage Project
CATEGORY: Waste and Storm Water
PROJECT FIRM: Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
OTHER CONSULTANTS: Baxter & Woodman, Inc., Stanley Consultants, HMG Engineers, Testing Service Corporation, ECS Midwest, LLC, Dimeo Brothers, Inc., Berger Excavating Contractors, V3 Construction Group
OWNER: Village of Wilmette
DESCRIPTION: This project significantly transformed the quality of life on the entire west side of the Village, providing flood protection for 98% of residents that experienced flooding on the west side of town. To provide the needed flood relief, the Village installed 44.2 acre-ft (14.4 million gallons) of underground stormwater storage at three prominent parks, as well as five miles of storm sewer under streets throughout the west side of town. The design of each park facility was based on saving trees, re-creating the park with better drainage and facilities, and minimizing the impacts to adjacent residents and schools. The size and configuration of the underground StormTrap vaults were the first of their kind in Illinois, including the vault with the largest number of pieces(Community Playfield – 2,300 pieces) and largest height (Hibbard Park – 15 feet tall).The Village’s Engineering and Public Works Department led a full-team effort that required cooperation and participation from consulting engineers, the Village Board, Park District, School District, neighborhood organizations, and most importantly understanding and patience from the Village residents. Communication and execution were the keys to the project implementation. Throughout the 10-year life of the project implementation, the Village convened more than 50 public meetings to build trust and obtain buy-in from the residents, School District and Park District. Ultimately, the project was delivered on time and nearly $4 million under the projected budget. “The best part of this legacy project is knowing that Wilmette residents will no longer experience the emotional, physical and financial distress that comes with flooding.” Brigitte Berger-Raish, PE, Wilmette Director of Engineering and Public Works