The IAFSM Current | Spring 2017 Newsletter »

IAFSM Project Award Recipients

March 1, 2017

IAFSM’s project awards recognize excellent projects across the state where a team has been assembled to accomplish a specific task. The 2017 award winners are:

Flood Reduction Project Award: Glenview Floodway Buyouts

The Flood Reduction Award recognizes an outstanding flood reduction project in Illinois. This year’s award recipient was a collaborative venture between the Village of Glenview, MWRD and IEMA which permanently solved the frequent and longstanding flooding endured by 17 homes built in the floodway along the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River. This collaboration overcame numerous legislative and regulatory hurdles encountered after MWRD took over countywide authority of stormwater management in Cook County. Despite these obstacles, each agency stepped up to push the project forward. MWRD advocated for changes to its state authority and allowed the Glenview project to be a countywide pilot project establishing new documentation and protocols. IEMA funded the difference between the initial grant award and the final appraisals. Glenview handled the local project management, including coordination with the 17 homeowners, appraisals, closing, demolition and ongoing maintenance. In the end, the buyouts were a 1.65 positive benefits-cost solution. As a result of the buyout program, two new 4-acre open spaces were created in Glenview, the flooding risk was eliminated and the floodway was returned to the river corridor.

Sustainability Project Award: Carpenter Creek Bank Stabilization

The Sustainability Award recognizes an outstanding project that effectively demonstrates sustainability in at least one subject area (stormwater reuse, water conservation, groundwater recharge, water reclamation, true source control or green infrastructure). This year’s award recipient was the Carpenter Creek Bank Stabilization project. Carpenter Creek is approximately 2.6 miles of perennial stream with mapped floodplain tributary to the Fox River. Portions of Carpenter Creek were severely eroded with several residential structures at risk. The project received funding through the USEPA Section 319 grant program. The Village of Carpentersville also secured developer fee-in-lieu funds to pay for its local match. The project was completed as a Design-Build project with HR Green and Applied Ecological Services (AES). The project included 2.6 miles of streambank stabilization with a meandering two-stage channel, wetland pools, riffles, grade control structures, and native vegetation. In addition to the channel improvements, this project also removed 43 properties from the floodplain. Installation of rain gardens in an adjacent park through which portion of the creek traverses provides education opportunities. Through the project, the Village achieved its objective to help residents reduce flood insurance while also being a responsible steward of environmental sustainability.

Innovation Project Award: Stormwater Master Plan Pilot Study: Using Green Infrastructure to Solve Urban Flooding

The Innovation Award is given on the occasion that a project demonstrates exceptionally innovative design elements. This year, the Innovation Project Award was presented to the Stormwater Master Plan Pilot Study: Using Green Infrastructure to Solve Urban Flooding. This project was a study conducted by Geosyntec Consultants as consultants to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and was performed within a primarily residential 17-square mile wide area located on the south side of Chicago. The study objectives were to evaluate how best to scale up green infrastructure (GI) within the ultra-urban landscape of Chicago to eliminate flooding due to sewer backups into basements and to alleviate street flooding. This pilot study is the first innovative application of a cloud-based optimizing software to evaluate GI over a large area for storms up to the 100-year rainfall event. This software allowed 70,000 scenarios and 315 million options to be analyzed in a few weeks. The work validated the need for minimum gray infrastructure but showed that optimal placement of GI provides a similar level-of-service and cost savings of around 40%, compared to a policy of implementing GI wherever it is feasible.

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