March , 2019

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With musical accompaniment provided by the Harper College Jazz Lab Band, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioners Terrence J. O’Brien, Debra Shore and Mariyana T. Spyropoulos were joined by state, federal and local leaders to break ground on the Heritage Park Flood Control Facility on Monday in Wheeling, IL.

Participants included U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin staff representative Greg Bales, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk staff representative Edward Murphy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commander Lt. Col. James Schreiner, Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer, Sen. Susan Garrett, Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan, MWRD Commissioners Terrence J. O’Brien, Mariyana T. Spyropoulos and Debra Shore, Rep. Elaine Nekritz, IL Dept. of Natural Resources representative Arlan Juhl, Wheeling Park District President Keith Pecka, Rep. Sidney Mathias,  Sen. Terry Link, Mount  Prospect Mayor Irvana K. Wilks and Wheeling President Judy Abruscato.

The facility is situated in the Des Plaines River watershed near the intersection of Dundee and Wolf Roads in Wheeling. When construction is complete, the complex will provide compensatory floodwater storage upstream of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Levee 37 flood control structure currently being constructed in Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights along the Des Plaines River.

“The MWRD was granted stormwater management authority by the General Assembly in 2004, and we have been working to address regional flooding issues since that time,” said Commissioner Shore.  “The Heritage Park Flood Control Facility is a great example of how we can work together to provide stormwater management facilities along with public recreational amenities.”

Project plans include six stormwater storage areas that will have a total capacity of more than 49 million gallons and will help alleviate flooding for approximately 600 homes and businesses. Additional improvements to the park include new walkways, a pavilion by the lake, a band shell, soccer fields and baseball diamonds. Construction of the facility will be completed in under two years.

“The Wheeling Park District is thrilled for construction on Heritage Park to begin,” said Keith Pecka, President of the Wheeling Park District Board of Commissioners. “We are grateful for the partnership of MWRD and the Village of Wheeling. When work is complete, Heritage Park will be a world class recreation area that the community can enjoy for generations.”

The stormwater management and recreational benefits will be enjoyed throughout Wheeling and other area communities. “This is great news, both for our residents and for our downstream neighbors,” said Wheeling Village President Judy Abruscato.  “The Heritage Park project represents a fine example of intergovernmental cooperation for the betterment of the region, and we salute MWRD and the Wheeling Park District for their vision and initiative.” 

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