Engineers will put together final blueprints for changes to the Busse Woods Dam in an effort to alleviate flooding along Salt Creek in Cook and DuPage counties.
Elk Grove Village has hired St. Charles-based Wills Burke Kelsey Associates to complete engineering design plans and specifications and get necessary permits and approvals that would allow construction to begin on the estimated $3 million dam modification project.
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The $195,900 in engineering work is the necessary final step that must be taken before the project, now several years in the making, can go out to bid, said Mayor Craig Johnson.
Since the dam is located off Cosman Road in Elk Grove Village, officials there have taken the lead on the project, but they've worked with a host of other governmental agencies along the way, including the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, DuPage County, and municipalities in DuPage that are also affected by Salt Creek flooding.
DuPage County and some municipalities have provided some money for previous engineering studies, and Johnson said he's working on funding arrangements with those governmental agencies for the actual project. Elk Grove is also pursuing county, state and federal grants for the project.
"We're making this very clear: This project, when approved, will not be held up for money," Johnson said Wednesday. "It will occur. This project will be done one way or another. This is too important.
"Elk Grove has needed this for 55 years -- almost 60 years -- and will make sure it occurs."
The project faced a stumbling block late last year when officials learned the dam was built in the 1970s primarily with federal dollars, meaning that any alterations to the dam would need federal approval. Johnson said U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is helping move that approval process along.
Officials are proposing to make the water level adjustable in the Busse Woods Reservoir, which was built to contain floodwater primarily from DuPage County. Currently, there is no way to manually change water flow at the dam. The project would make the dam adjustable.
At the advent of an impending storm, the level of Busse Lake, which feeds into Salt Creek, would be manually lowered, allowing the reservoir to hold more water. The water can then be released at a slower pace after the storm.
Johnson said the changes mean it would be less likely for Salt Creek to flood during a major storm.
Officials hope to receive federal governmental approvals by early 2015, put the project out to bid in the spring, and begin construction in the summer. The work could be complete by the fall of 2015.