Work on a major flood-control project in and around the intersection of Forest and Washington avenues in Brookfield could break ground as early as May after the village’s board of trustees voted unanimously on Jan. 25 to partner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago on it.
In the works since early 2014, the Washington Avenue pump station project is designed to mitigate flooding on Forest Avenue and around the intersection of Washington and Prairie avenues during major rain events.
“It’s great that this project is finally a go,” said Brookfield Village Manager Keith Sbiral. “This will be an incredible benefit for the residents of our village.”
The total cost for the project is expected to be in the $2 million range, with the village and the MWRD sharing the cost. According to the agreement approved by trustees on Jan. 25, the MWRD will reimburse the village for 44 percent of the total construction cost, up to a maximum of $1 million.
The village of Brookfield will be responsible for the remainder of the construction cost, which the agreement has estimated at about $1.1 million. Brookfield has also been responsible for funding the pump station’s design engineering, which already has been completed. The cost for design engineering, according to the agreement, was about $172,000. Final plans were submitted to the MWRD in January.
According to Derek Treichel, the village of Brookfield’s engineer, the MWRD will seek bids for the work in February or March, with a contract expected to be awarded in April.
Construction is expected to last for four to five months, and will affect traffic on Washington Avenue between Salt Creek and Prairie Avenue and the 3500 block of Forest Avenue.
Part of the project will include constructing a roughly 19-foot deep underground pump station and valve pit just north of Washington Avenue and west of Salt Creek. The pit will contain five pumps with a total capacity of ejecting 5,000 gallons of water per minute from the storm sewer system.
The water will be ejected from the pit and into Salt Creek via a 45-foot long, 16-inch diameter pipe.
Typically, the pumps station will discharge water from the storm sewers on Forest Avenue between Lincoln and Washington, on Prairie Avenue between Lincoln and Monroe and on Washington Avenue between Salt Creek and Vernon Avenue.
During high-water events, the pump station will also be an emergency outlet for the Washington Avenue storm sewer, which is fed by other areas of the village.
In addition, work will include the installation of new drainage structures at the intersection of Washington and Prairie avenues and the installation of a new 36-inch diameter storm sewer on the south side of Washington from Prairie Avenue to Forest Avenue.
In very heavy rain events, the pump station alone won’t be able to keep up with the runoff collecting in the storm sewers that feed the three sewer outfalls on the west bank of Salt Creek near Washington and Forest.
As a result, the project also includes two storm water detention areas, one below ground and one above ground, in the 3500 block of Forest Avenue.
An underground storage vault measuring roughly 7-by-8-by-300 feet will extend south from Washington Avenue underneath Forest Avenue. The underground storage vault will be able to temporarily store 120,000 gallons of water.
Construction of the underground storage vault will require Forest Avenue to be torn up and reconstructed. As a result, it will be closed to traffic for a good portion of construction.
In addition, the village will build an above-ground storage facility on a 75-foot wide lot at 3526 Forest Ave., which the village bought for that purpose in early 2015. The 65-by-105-foot above-ground storage area will be about seven or eight feet deep with a 3-to-1 slope, said Treichel.
The village had sought to purchase another 55-foot wide lot adjacent to the site in order to create a shallower facility with a gentler slope, but that plan didn’t pan out. As a result, the above-ground facility on Forest Avenue will be enclosed by a fence that will be six to eight feet tall, Treichel said.
The pump station and storm water detention areas should help mitigate the kind of street flooding the area suffered most recently in 2013. That April, the area quickly was inundated when storm sewers reached capacity and surcharged, flooding streets near Washington and Forest.
The water quickly filled basements and even main levels of homes, causing widespread damage.
While the pump station will not be able to prevent flooding in the event that water overtops the banks of Salt Creek, it should be able to delay flooding in those instances and allow homeowners to prepare and protect their homes.
The pump station was just one flood-control program proposed by the village after the April 2013 flood. In the years following that event, the village has undated its storm water ordinance related to new construction, passed a downspout disconnection law and has paid a little less than $500,000 to help cover the cost of installing flood-protection systems such as check valves and overhead sewers at private homes.