This old streetcar crossing is directly across the street from my front windows, and I rode that streetcar many times when I was a child and know that this condition was common because of the lower dam and reduced backup. All along the river it was like this – wide, muddy banks where weeds would sprout during low water times and then be flooded over.
The dam crest is at river mile 44.34 – approximately two miles downstream from this location. The Army Corps 7Q10 (extreme low) modeling chart states the low water existing depth condition at this location is at about 4 feet, and that it will drop to about 1.75 to 2.45 feet between Forest Avenue and 31st Street after the “notching.”
I contend that his photo refutes that claim and clearly shows what I have been saying all along – this is the condition that we will have if this project goes forward. You can clearly see that the riverbed was dry for a long period because of the size of the weeds that grew in where we now have the river. When the river went down like this the odor was noxious and stagnant pools were created in the prime season for mosquito breeding. It was because of this condition that the village and the Forest Preserve District banded together in a lawsuit to have the 1950 dam.
This condition will occur all along the river on a regular basis if this project takes place. Homes along Fairbank, Bloomingbank, West, Groveland and Maplewood will have their views destroyed and their property values severely impacted.
At the present time there is no completed plan for this project. Unless and until a complete and accurate plan is presented and thoroughly vetted by the appropriate parties nothing should proceed. That is what the MOA with the IHPA called for and for good reason.
Nothing is allowed to be built in Riverside without accurate plans and approvals. The village must insist that this – perhaps the largest and most important project that this village will ever see – be carefully scrutinized and evaluated.
The permission to proceed with part of this project that was granted by the board in September was based upon the statement that a completed plan was in hand and approved.
Clearly, with discrepancies like this, and with both the IDNR and Army Corps not even knowing that substantial remnants of the 1908 dam are still in place and will also need removal, this project should not be given a green light until a more accurate estimate of the outcome can be ascertained.