Flood control project in Highlands subdivison in Libertyville involves a lot of digging

The big dig to ease flooding in one Libertyville neighborhood is well underway with the comings and goings of trucks at Nicholas Dowden Park expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

What is known as the Highlands Subdivision Flood Control project involves excavating 6 to 9 feet to create a basin big enough to hold the equivalent of 38.5 acres of stormwater 1 foot deep.

That area covers the entire south half of the park, which is split by Crane Boulevard. Work began Aug. 1 with silt fencing and construction entrances and now is in full swing.

First, topsoil was stripped throughout the south end of the park and much of it is stockpiled on-site for future use. Excavation and hauling followed.

"Since much of the work involves digging out material and exporting off site, they will be continuing with this process for quite awhile," said Jeff Cooper, village engineer. "It is anticipated that the next month or so will be predominantly a continuous operation of excavation and material haul off while the park is lowered to its intended elevations."

Village officials in late June awarded a construction contract of little more than $6.4 million, which was well below the $7 million estimate.

The softball fields, batting cages, storage building and parking along Dymond Avenue, which borders the park on the west, will be removed to build the detention area and improved.

Cooper said mass grading and utility installation is scheduled to be completed before winter. Final park amenities and landscaping likely will be done in early 2023, he added.

The detention area is the first part of a plan to address historical flooding in the area south of Route 176 between Butterfield Road and Garfield Avenue. Localized flooding is routine in certain areas during moderate to heavy rain.

The second part calls for a new mainline storm sewer along Rockland Road to Nicholas Dowden park. New branch sewers would be installed along Shari Lane, Dymond Road and Drake, Carter, Burdick and Ames streets.

Last week, village officials approved borrowing $9.17 million via a bond sale. Proceeds of the bond sale, combined with state grants, will fund both phases of the Highlands project as well storm sewer improvements in another neighborhood along Rockland Road east of Milwaukee Avenue.

The village will receive more than $7.64 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for the three projects. Officials also recently were notified the village will be getting a $400,000 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for extensive improvements on the north side of Nicholas Dowden park.

The $1 million-plus overall estimated project cost includes a "destination" playground, new basketball court, two pickleball courts, linear skate park, native garden swale and walking loop.

A start date is being determined pending receipt of the grant agreement, said Ashley Engelmann, deputy village administrator.

However, it's expected to begin in summer 2023. The village has two years to complete the project under the grant requirements, she added.

Libertyville moving forward on flood reduction projects

Libertyville pursuing state grant to enhance planned improvements at Nicholas-Dowden Park

With $30 million grant, Lake County prepares for 'once in a generation' flood control projects

Big flood control dig in Libertyville expected to start in early August

  Construction entrance to Nicholas Dowden park in Libertyville. A big flood control project underway involves excavating 6 to 9 feet to create a large stormwater detention area. Mick Zawislak/
  The north side of Nicholas Dowden park in Libertyville. The village has been notified it will receive a $400,000 state grant to be applied to an estimated $1 million makeover to include various amenities. Mick Zawislak/
The first phase of a flood control project for the Highlands neighborhood in Libertyville is focused on Nicholas Dowden park. Courtesy of village of Libertyville
Rendering of proposed improvements on the north side of Nicholas Dowden park in Libertyville. The village has been notified it will receive a $400,000 state grant toward the estimated $1 million project. Courtesy village of Libertyville
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