Rockland Road project in Libertyville winding down for season
But there's more work to be done on Libertyville road next year
Work on a multifaceted project to reduce flooding and provide other benefits on the southeast side of Libertyville is rounding the corner for the season, but there will be plenty left to do next year.
Since early summer, Rockland Road east of Milwaukee Avenue has been a crowded jumble of equipment, workers and materials, with eastbound traffic only, as crews tore into the first year of a $6.1 million project.
Rebuilding Rockland from Prairie Avenue to the Des Plaines River has been on the books for years, but underground work on water and sewer systems took on added importance to address flooding and replace a water main prone to breaks. Although it's considered a road project, the focus this year has been the main trunk line of storm sewers. New pavement and curbs and gutters will be installed next year.
Libertyville is paying for the new water main and oversized storm sewers. The federal government is covering the remaining 80 percent of the project tab.
Planned work this season has included enlarging storm sewers to as much as 7 feet in diameter to better move stormwater and protect neighborhoods.
A large area drains into the system, affecting Rockland Road and neighboring streets, Village Engineer Jeff Cooper explained. During big storms, the current sewer system is unable to handle the volume, he said.
New pipe sizes from west to east step up in diameter from 24 inches to 48 inches -- and, from Seventh Avenue to the river, 84 inches. That's large enough to drive a car through. The current sewer is 30 inches.
"The large sewer that is being installed with this project is intended to capture and properly route this water directly to the river, instead of stormwater having to travel through home and properties," Cooper said.
A new water main between Prairie Avenue and the river has been installed and activated. The previous line was old and susceptible to breaks, he added.
Most of the storm sewer work has involved installing 36-inch- and 48-inch-diameter pipes west of Seventh Avenue. High river levels in recent weeks have prevented installing the 84-inch-diameter pipes from that point east, Cooper said, as the structure to which the pipe will be connected has been partially under water.
The plan is to get as much storm sewer in the ground as weather allows until mid-November, when temporary pavement will be placed over disturbed areas and Rockland reopened to two-way traffic.
In spring, the remaining storm sewer segments will be installed to complete that part of the project. Later phases not included in the $6.1 million cost will include other storm sewer connections.
Road construction will last through October 2020 and include the Libertyville Township section from the river east to St. Mary's Road.
Replacing the bridge carrying Rockland Road over the river is a separate project to start in 2022 or 2023.