What has been happening over the last several months to advance the project?
The engineering team hired by the Village is finalizing the design of the Community Playfield underground storage vault, site drainage improvements and new storm sewers. The project is anticipated to be out to bid in January 2020.
Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA’s)
Intergovernmental agreements (IGA’s) between the Village and the Park District and School District 39 are critical components of this project.
An IGA with the Park District is necessary for the Village to install the vault under Community Playfield. This agreement is under review.
An IGA with School District 39 is necessary because the plan includes utilizing the Highcrest Middle School parking lot for construction access, primarily during the summer of 2020, as well as to build a new storm sewer under the parking lot.
When is the project expected to begin?
Storm sewer work within the Village streets began in October 2019. The vault construction work at Community Playfield is expected to begin in April 2020 with “early access” activities. Early access activities include installing the protective construction fence and stone access road, removing sodding and beginning earth moving operations. Work on the storage vaults at Hibbard Park and Thornwood Park are planned to begin in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
When is the project expected to be completed?
Work at Community Playfield and improvements to street storm sewers are expected to wrap up in late November 2020, with Community Playfield open for the public to enjoy in spring of 2021.
What areas of Community Playfield will be impacted by construction and when will the park reopen?
Only the southeastern portion of the park (see highlighted area of park below) will be under construction from April 2020 through November 2020. The area disturbed by construction will be restored with sod in the fall of 2020. Since the new sod requires time to establish roots, it is anticipated that the entire playfield will be open for the public to enjoy in the spring of 2021.
What are some details about the proposed vault installation?
In order to prepare for the vault installation, the contractor will remove approximately 1.25 million cubic feet of soil—the volume of more than 14 Olympic size swimming pools! The contractor will then construct the vault from about 2,200 pre-cast concrete pieces that fit together like Lego blocks. After the vault is built, the surface will be covered with gravel, soil and grass.
How will construction trucks access the site?
The Village will establish truck routes for the project that will generally limit trucks to major roads, such as Lake Avenue, Hunter Road and Glenview Road. Primary access to the Playfield will be through the Highcrest Middle School parking lot during the summer recess. If construction runs longer than the summer recess, a secondary access point will be necessary through Birchwood Avenue.
If I live near Community Playfield, what can I expect?
The majority of the vault installation will occur during the eight weeks of summer recess. This aggressive schedule means that the contractor may have to work longer days and on weekends. To minimize disruptions in the neighborhood around Community Playfield, the Village will include provisions for dust control in the construction contract.
What will Community Playfield look like when the project is completed?
Since the vault will be completely underground, Community Playfield will look like it does today when construction is over. In addition to providing significant flood relief, the project will also resolve the major drainage problems within the southeast quadrant of the park, therefore reducing standing water and making the park more usable throughout the year.
What is the status of the bike path during construction?
The bike path that connects Highcrest Middle School to Wilmette Junior High will remain open until mid-June 2020, after which the bike path will close temporarily for the remainder of the project (expected to be completed in late November 2020). During this closure, bikers should utilize the established safe walking route, which is shown in blue and yellow on the map below.
What about the new storm sewers for this area?
New, large diameter storm sewers will be installed on Meadow Drive, Wilmette Avenue and Wilshire Drive during Phase 1 of the project. These sewers will allow stormwater from the adjacent neighborhood to drain into and out of the vault. Storm sewer work is anticipated to begin spring of 2020. Residents impacted by construction will be notified prior to the beginning of construction. Temporary detours will be required as the large pipes are installed on Wilmette Avenue. The Village will share information on these detours as the work approaches.
There are also additional “optimized” sewers on Washington and Hunter Road that will be bid as alternate items. The optimized sewers increase the overall effectiveness of the project by reaching additional neighborhoods. If construction pricing is favorable, these sewers will be added to the contract and built in 2020.