The Willow-Hibbard Stormwater Project is projected to be the most expensive public construction project in Winnetka history. On June 21, 2022, the Village trustees approved the $16.5 million contract with IUOE Local 150 signatory contractor DiMeo Brothers for construction work on the stormwater improvement project at the northwest corner of Willow and Hibbard Road. The Village plans to add 79 acre-feet – or 25.7 million gallons – of stormwater relief for west and northwest Winnetka.
The project has been a long time coming and will help immensely with stormwater mitigation. Flooding is not a new problem in Winnetka, various projects to hold or redirect stormwater when major storms occur have been implemented in the past. This project will take on a large-scale initiative that will result in a major change in the way stormwater is handled in the area.
When the Willow-Hibbard Stormwater Project is complete, the new water detention and drainage system will ease intense flooding experienced by many Winnetka residents. Once completed, water will drain into tanks and be slowly released into the Skokie Lagoons during major storm events. The stormwater collection and holding tanks that are located under Duke Childs’ Field, the Winnetka Park District’s golf course, and behind Crow Island School are the key developments of this portion of the construction project.
The Village of Winnetka is uniting with New Tier High School District 203 and Winnetka Park District to get this monumental project complete. The plans for the site also include $5.3 million in improvements to New Trier athletic facilities that are slated to begin in the summer of 2023.
New Trier has pursued upgrades to its baseball and softball fields for nearly a decade, and under this project, a new softball field will be constructed with modern backstops, improved parking and walking areas, and a new locker room and restroom structure. These changes are not only meant to update the fields, but also will moderate past safety concerns at Duke Childs’ Field. Currently, the varsity baseball field borders Willow Road and has outdated fencing that allows baseballs to travel into traffic and the bordering parking lot.
The Willow-Hibbard Stormwater Project is part of a five-year push to improve stormwater maintenance across the Village of Winnetka. DiMeo Brothers, alongside with the skills of IUOE Local 150 operators, have kicked off this historic project into action. Since June 2022, a significant portion of the project has been executed.
DiMeo Brothers has been hard at work and has taken on an enormous task with the scope of this project, including building a concrete box and storm trap that ties all the storage facilities together. DiMeo Brothers’s operators – who are IUOE Local 150 members – will continue stripping topsoil and excavating the area. The expertise and hard work of DiMeo Brothers and these operators is a significant reason this project has come to fruition. We look forward to seeing the completion of the project and know it will bring much needed stormwater upgrades to the community.
From the Spring/Summer 2023 Issue of The Monitor.