Durbin, Schakowsky, U.S. Army Corps, MWRD, and Other Local Officials Cut Ribbon on Levee 37
[MOUNT PROSPECT, IL] – Hundreds of homes and businesses along the Des Plaines River will be better protected from flooding with the completion of Levee 37 construction, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other local officials announced today at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the project. Levee 37 will provide protection for more than 600 existing homes and dozens of business in Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights, with an estimated average annual savings of more than $3 million.
“Rising river waters is something we are all-too-familiar with in Illinois. Homeowners and businesses along the Des Plaines River shouldn’t have to think about filling sandbags every time it rains,” Durbin said. “Levee 37 will save communities from flood damage and save money – dollars spent on levees like this one help prevent disaster dollars needed down the line. This milestone is the culmination of many years of work and I am pleased to see this federal investment come to fruition to keep communities safe.”
“Flood protection is extremely important in our community as each year homes and businesses face threats from rainstorms and the Des Plaines River,” Schakowsky said. “Levee 37 will provide strong controls to reduce flooding for hundreds of Illinoisans and save millions of dollars. That is exactly the type of preventive action we must take to keep residents safe and avoid property damage. I am proud to have worked with federal, state and local leaders to make Levee 37 a reality.”
"The Army Corps of Engineers has been privileged to be a part of the team working to reduce the risk of flooding along the Des Plaines River," said Lt Col. Kevin Lovell, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District. "Levee 37 will provide flood protection for over 600 residential dwellings and dozens of businesses in Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights, with an estimated average annual savings of over $3 million in avoided flood damage costs."
“This project holds a special meaning to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago as the Heritage Park Flood Control Facility was our first major stormwater construction project since the Illinois General Assembly granted us stormwater management authority in 2004,” said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos. “It is also important to us because of the breadth of intergovernmental partnerships forged through this process. Through our relationship with the Village of Wheeling, Wheeling Park District, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Heritage Park Flood Control Facility will ensure the benefits of Levee 37 could be realized. On behalf of the District, we are grateful for the opportunity to deliver these quality of life improvements to these communities”
Levee 37 is one of six projects authorized as part of an Upper Des Plaines River endeavor to reduce flooding along roughly 80 miles of the Des Plaines River, which flows through 33 municipalities in Cook and Lake Counties. This project and its partner project, Levee 50, are 65/35 federal/non-federal share. All but about $100,000 of the $36 million that went into Levee 37 is federal funding, leaving most of the non-federal share for the construction of Levee 50.
In partnership with Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corps’ Chicago District worked with the local communities and several state and federal agencies to complete the project. Durbin and Schakowsky helped secure significant federal funding for this initiative, a response to the troubled history of repeated flooding that had caused significant damage to homes along the Des Plaines River.
Previous Article Next Article