Consultant explains why Lincolnshire floods

  • Part of Lincolnshire Drive, which is near the Des Plaines River, was under several feet of water during a 2017 flood. It and several nearby streets regularly flood after heavy rainstorms.

      Part of Lincolnshire Drive, which is near the Des Plaines River, was under several feet of water during a 2017 flood. It and several nearby streets regularly flood after heavy rainstorms. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

  • The road leading into the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort flooded in September 2019 after heavy rains. Guests were evacuated.

    The road leading into the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort flooded in September 2019 after heavy rains. Guests were evacuated. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Posted5/27/2020 5:28 AM

Old, inadequate sewers are partially to blame for the floods that plague Lincolnshire, an engineering consultant said Tuesday.

Many of the storm sewers in town are more than 60 years old, and the standards for sewer capacity then were very different from current standards, Darren Olson of Rosemont-based Christopher B. Burke Engineering told the village board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The way Lincolnshire was developed decades ago also is to blame, the firm's research revealed. Because developers sought to protect mature trees and environmentally sensitive areas rather than bulldoze areas flat, low-lying areas with shallow slopes are left with standing water after storms.

Additionally, many local stormwater basins haven't been maintained properly and are in disrepair, Olson said.

Olson presented the company's findings during a committee-of-the-whole meeting that was held remotely because of the statewide stay-at-home order.

Lincolnshire's worst flooding occurs near the Des Plaines River. The river sometimes overruns its banks after heavy rains or snow melts, leaving nearby residential streets flooded and water in some basements.

Lincolnshire also is part of the Indian Creek watershed, which puts an additional burden on stormwater sewers. The West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River runs through Lincolnshire, too.

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All that running water has led to worsening flooding. In 2018 and 2019, guests and workers at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort had to flee the property because of severe flooding.

Village leaders hired Olson's firm last year to investigate the causes and propose improvements.

Olson suggested some possible solutions Tuesday night. They included expanding the town's storm sewer capacity with larger pipes, building a water pump station and making other infrastructure improvements. The projects could cost nearly $19 million, documents indicate.

Olson also suggested improving the defective detention basins. That work could cost $2.4 million to $4.7 million, documents indicate.

Finally, the firm recommended drainage improvements on private residential properties that would be the responsibility of property owners. If the village took responsibility for these, they could add $3 million to the town's tab.

Funding for the various projects could come from loans, a stormwater utility fee, grants and other sources, Olson said.

Possible flood-control projects could be added to the village's 10-year capital plan, which is scheduled for review during a June 8 committee-of-the-whole meeting.

"We have a lot to think about," Mayor Elizabeth Brandt said. "It's not inexpensive, and it's not going to solve everything."

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