South of 47th Street

In July 2010, the Village experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall (over six inches in a twelve-hour period), which resulted in widespread flooding of streets, basements, rear yards and other low areas of the Village. While all neighborhoods were effected by the severe rain event, the area south of 47th Street between Brainard Avenue and La Grange Road, which traditionally has not experienced such wide spread flooding problems, was particularly impacted.

In order to more fully understand what happened, assess the capacity of the Village's sewer system, and develop possible solutions to reduce the frequency of flooding, the Village requested a proposal from the Village Engineer to conduct a preliminary drainage study for this neighborhood.

The drainage area studied encompasses the combined sewer area south of 47th Street to the southern limits of the Village, and from Willow Springs Road to East Avenue. An Executive Summary (PDF) of the Preliminary Engineering Assessment of the South Basin Drainage is provided which summarizes the findings and recommendations.

View a full copy of the report (PDF) (note this is a large file) or a copy is available for viewing at the Village Hall. 

South Basin Drainage Investigation (PDF)

In the summer of 2014, the Village again experienced multiple high-intensity rain events that exceeded the limited capacity of the Village's sewer system resulting in flooded basements, streets, and rear yards. In response to the increasing frequency and intensity of rain events, the Village Board requested staff to pursue funding and engineering solutions that reduce flooding in an affordable and shorter time frame.

In September 2014, staff recommended to the Board a tiered approach to the prioritization of flooding objectives given the Village's limited resources. Based on this tiered approach, a contract with Baxter & Woodman was executed to update the hydraulic model of the area south of 47th Street to evaluate alternatives that directly address overland flooding in the depressional areas. View a copy of the report (PDF).

At the Village Board meeting on Monday, January 12, 2015, the Village conducted a workshop to discuss solutions to reduce flooding south of 47th Street. Specifically, the purpose of the workshop was to discuss the hydraulic and hydrology study completed by the Village Engineer that studied the affordability and effectiveness of flood mitigation projects south of 47th Street. The presentation included detailed information regarding the results and recommendations from the study. Staff also provided a review of the estimated cost for each alternative project. View this presentation (PDF).

To fund the first phase of initiatives, the Village Board enacted a voter authorized increase (referendum approved in 2015) in the local retail sales tax and approved increases in the Municipal Utility Tax, Simplified Telecommunications tax, and sewer rate.

The 50th Street Storm Sewer Project includes the construction of a new storm sewer along 50th Street from East Avenue to Waiola Avenue.  

In December, 2018, the Village and Hanson Material Service Corporation agreed on the terms of a settlement agreement related to the 2016 litigation brought against the Village regarding this project.  The settlement agreement established a framework for the design and construction of the 50th Street Storm Sewer in La Grange and necessary connecting pipe to convey storm water to regional waterways.  Additional necessary components of the project include a pipe around the Hanson Quarry (to be paid for as a result of settlement terms with the quarry) to a planned reservoir in McCook (to be paid by the MWRD).

The Village and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District worked diligently to enter into an intergovernmental agreement so that the 50th Street and related reservoir projects could begin.  There are obstacles to finalizing the agreement, and to date the parties have been unable to enter into an agreement to further the project.  The settlement agreement with the quarry expired at the end of 2020 and the settlement funds have been returned.  

The Village experienced significant flooding events in May, 2020 and in June, 2021.

The Village has met with representatives of Hanson Quarry on several occasions to discuss the project and alternatives, including at the judicial level.  The Village has asked the quarry to partner with and assist La Grange with solving this regional flooding problem.  

The Village is also continuing to work with the MWRD, IDOT, County, and federal and state legislators on identifying flood relief projects and funding partnerships.