Residents on Sara Ann Lane have been troubled by flooding for years, and many have asked the city to do something—anything—about the issue.
Their persistence paid off, as Tuesday approved the installation of a 24-inch pipe that could remedy the issue, according to City Administrator Troy Ishler.
“It should do what we need it to, that's the main thing,” Ishler said. “We're looking to improve the situation and this should do that, markedly. Now, if you get multiple hundred-year storms back-to-back, nothing is going to help that.”
Ishler said work will begin in about a week's time, and should take about a week to complete.
“We're going to start doing exploration of utilities immediately,” he said. “Probably the contract will most likely start in about a week, once we get our materials. We're going to order materials immediately.”
The project was originally researched by engineering firm Baxter & Woodman, who recommended raising the bike path on nearby forest preserve property—an update with a $450,000 price tag.
Another option, with an estimated cost of $460,000, would increase the size of the culvert currently under Ridgeland Avenue and along Sara Ann Lane.
However, Ishler and aldermen found a much less expensive and practical solution by looking to a previous fix on Janet Court. A similar pipe solved a flooding problem on Janet Court several years ago.
The approved fix will cost approximately $60,000, using contractor Sunset Water and Sewer. Oak Forest will pay Sunset $20,000 for the work, while the City will foot the bill for materials and trucking costs, about $40,000.
“We're going to do all our own engineering on it, we're looking to save some costs,” Ishler said. “Just trucking and materials, if you get a contractor they're going to put a markup on that, we've saving by buying it ourselves.”
Funding for the project will come from the Motor Fuel Tax fund, which has a surplus of funds remaining from last year's work on Craig Drive and Fern Avenue.
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