Addison Creek Development Area
The Addison Creek Restoration Commission, which for several years was chaired by former Bellwood Mayor Frank A. Pasquale, has completed its work and examined all possible options to alleviate the flooding problems in Bellwood and other communities. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District now is taking responsibility to develop solutions for the $130 million project, and as a result, residents in Bellwood, Broadview, Melrose Park, Northlake, North Riverside, Stone Park and Westchester will not see any tax increase related to the project.
Because many Bellwood residents live in the Addison Creek flood plain as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), several mayors and I requested that the Illinois state legislature create the commission to study the impact of the creek on seven communities, including Bellwood. The commission worked with many professionals and agencies to find solutions, produced engineering studies and was committed to reducing the size of the floodplain. Doing so would eliminate residents having to purchase mandated flood insurance. Consequently, property values would increase and municipalities would face a reduced financial burden associated with flood response and cleanup.
The commission has met its responsibility as charted by the state. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has approved funding for preliminary engineering and approved contracting with a consultant to work on the important project.
More specifically, in 2015 the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) began pursuing a flood control project along Addison Creek. The detention pond project is focusing on constructing a nearly 20 million gallon capacity flood storage reservoir along with channel conveyance improvements from Northlake to Broadview.
The project will help reduce overbank flooding damages to 1,679 structures along Addison Creek, including providing significant relief to Bellwood residents – and at no cost to Bellwood residents. There are several channel improvements proposed along Addison Creek. The MWRD is constructing a reservoir just north of Washington Boulevard in Bellwood. The MWRD is making progress in acquiring the necessary land and easements for the project, and construction has started.
Bellwood was selected as the best location for the detention pond, but completion of the project means many village residents would be removed from the current flood plain, which would mean lower insurance rates and little to no standing water after it rains.