Albany Park Tunnel

February 18, 2015


Issue: 337                                                                                                             February 17, 2015


Over the years, we've heard many ideas on how to relieve flooding in Albany Park. After the 2008 flood, it became clear we needed something more comprehensive and ambitious to relieve flooding. The Albany Park Tunnel is that project.


I was pleased to join Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Mike Quigley, and officials from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MRWD) today to announce that the City has secured the remaining funds to build a storm water tunnel in Albany Park. The drainage tunnel will eliminate the danger of floods that have plagued the Albany Park in recent years.


The drainage tunnel will start in Eugene Park and extend for approximately one mile under Foster Ave. to the North Shore Channel. The tunnel will divert water during times of heavy rains, and will not affect the river's water level in normal times. The cost is between $45 and $55 million. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in less than two years. We will be engaging the Albany Park community through a series of community meetings and public forums.


While the tunnel is under construction, the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), the Department of Water Management (DWM), and the Department of Transportation (CDOT) have developed a robust action plan to respond to emergencies. The action plan includes early monitoring of river levels, coordinating meetings in anticipation of any flooding, and an immediate response if flooding occurs. In the event of flooding, OEMC, CDOT, DWM, along with the city's Department of Health and Human Services, People's Gas, ComEd, the Department of Streets and Sanitation, the city's Police and Fire Departments, as well as social service agencies, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, will be immediately mobilized to respond to flooding emergencies.