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About the Project

Following five years of study and an intensive public education campaign, the Wilmette Board of Trustees voted on April 17, 2018 to pursue a stormwater improvement project to address flooding issues for residents who live west of Ridge Road. Ultimately, the majority of the Board of Trustees voted to proceed with Neighborhood Storage improvements at an estimated cost of $48-55 million.

Optimized Stormwater Storage Plan

The Village’s goal is to be ready to commence work on the first neighborhood storage project at Community Playfield by summer 2020.

In order to meet this goal, the Village issued a Request for Proposals and received responses from seven firms, several of which teamed together because of the size of the project. After careful review of the proposals, staff interviewed three firms. The team of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL) and Baxter and Woodman was selected based on their relevant experience, knowledge of the system, comprehensive scope of work and competitive fee.

CBBEL was the project manager during the initial hydraulic study. As its original developer, CBBEL has tremendous knowledge of Wilmette’s storm sewer model and provided an option in their proposal to expand flood relief to under-served neighborhoods. This will be reviewed in detail during the preliminary engineering phase.


The Village Board met on Monday, February 4, 2019 to discuss the Neighborhood Storage Project. Specifically, the Board reviewed two locations for the first underground stormwater reservoir: Community Playfield or Centennial Park. After hearing a presentation by CBBEL, the Village Board unanimously selected Community Playfield as the better location.

Community Playfield has a larger footprint for the project which will result in more flexibility to optimize storage, reduced construction time and lower construction costs. Community Playfield routinely floods, so there is also an opportunity for the project to improve site drainage and make the Playfield more usable for the park patrons.

The meeting also included discussion about optimizing the project to provide flood relief for 98-percent of the homes vulnerable to flooding west of Ridge Road. The Village Board supports building additional storm sewers and enlarging two of the three stormwater storage basins (Community Playfield and Thornwood Park) to provide maximum storage.

West Wilshire and Glenview_looking north

Village of Wilmette

Neighborhood Storage Project

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