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Award-Winning Bartlett FEMA Flood Control Project

April 14th, 2016

Village of Bartlett

Long Term Commitment from Village Provides Flood Relief to Residents with $3.8M in FEMA Funds

Several locations within the Village of Bartlett suffered significant flood damage during storm events in 2008 – 2010. Especially hard hit were residences on the north side of the Village that are in the older sections of town. During these events, flood waters reached up to 18 inches deep in the first floor. All access roadways into and out of the areas were flooded and inaccessible. The Elgin Fire Department brought rescue boats to the scene to assist in evacuating residents from their homes. A total of 76 residences and 2 commercial buildings in these two areas were damaged by flood waters.

The primary cause of flooding in this area was the large volume of stormwater runoff draining from the Villages of Bartlett, Streamwood, and Hanover Park as well as areas of Unincorporated Cook County located upstream of the study area. Stormwater runoff from the 2.1 square mile watershed is ultimately conveyed to the south by a single 54 inch diameter storm sewer pipe with limited capacity. During intense storm events, stormwater runoff that cannot be conveyed through the 54 inch storm sewer pipe backed up into the streets causing flooding of adjacent residences.

In response to the flooding, the Village pursued Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to construct flood control projects to reduce the risk of future flooding. The projects included two flood control facilities totaling nearly 100 acre-ft. of floodwater storage and associated storm sewer improvements.   The storage basins would temporarily store stormwater runoff and lower flood elevations in the surrounding area. The storm sewer improvements would provide stormwater conveyance to direct the flood waters away from residences and towards the newly created stormwater basins. The projects also required property acquisition and annexation of land into the Village. As part of the FEMA HMGP grant process, the project completed a rigorous Environmental Assessment that was approved by FEMA in July 2013. After extensive preliminary engineering and environmental studies, the Village was awarded the $3.8M Grant in October 2013.

The project involved work in environmentally sensitive areas and required permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources – Office of Water Resources and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The projects have been designed in accordance with the local, county, state, and federal requirements for flood control projects with regards to stormwater, floodplain, and wetlands. A significant project component required excavation within an existing wetland without placing any fill within the wetland. The proposed plan will enhance and improve upon the function of the previous degraded wetland area to create a Hemi-Marsh environment that will provide exceptional habitat for zooplankton and insects that are a critical part of the site’s intricate food web. The project design and permitting was completed in October 2014 and the project was awarded to Earthwerks Land Improvement Company in November 2014. The primary construction activities, which included 106,000 cubic yards of earth excavation, was started in the Spring of 2015 and completed by the Fall of that same year.   The earth excavation within the wetland areas required the use of timber matting access roads to create a work platform and truck haul road. The project was substantially complete by the end of 2015 within the budget and time constraints of the FEMA grant.



The project involved a long-term commitment by the Village of Bartlett to see this project to completion. Village aggressively pursued the FEMA grant and the multitude of environmental permits that were required for the project. The project also required an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Streamwood to annex the flood storage parcel to the Village of Bartlett. The dedication by Village Administrator Valerie Salmons brought the elected officials, Village staff and local community together to make the project a success. This can be seen in the photos of the Groundbreaking Ceremony held in Fall of 2014 that included the Village Board, local residents and U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.

Darren Olson, PE, CFM, D.WRE
Senior Project Manager
Water Resources Department

David Vogel, PE, CFM, CPSWQ
Senior Water Resources Engineer
Water Resources Department