John Street Drainage Improvements

Champaign, IL

Severe flooding and sewer overflows posed an annual threat to the safety of residents along the John Street watershed in Champaign, Illinois. The watershed’s history of flooding dated back to the early 1900s, since then severe flooding was an annual event but the record rainfalls of 2008 and 2009 proved to be the worst two years of flooding the City had ever seen. The resulting costs of property damage, increased risk to public safety, and rising residential concern motivated Champaign to seek resolution. Clark Dietz provided a unique drainage solution that alleviated the flooding, while incorporating sustainable features and safer multi-modal transportation.

Our Solution
In an innovative partnership, the City of Champaign worked with a newly formed residential Steering Committee to identify the problems and seek a comprehensive solution. Clark Dietz worked with the City to meet their goals of a comprehensive project approach that incorporated both traditional and unique stormwater management techniques.

Traditional components included the construction of over a mile of 60-inch storm sewer that replaced the existing storm sewer. Sustainable designs incorporated rain gardens, permeable pavements and sidewalks that absorb stormwater, thereby reducing flow rate into the outlet sewer. The filtering capacity of these features also improved water quality.

Due to the size and depth of the storm sewers, as well as the need to install additional drainage inlets, it was necessary to replace the existing pavements, curbs and gutters, driveways and sidewalk ramps. The incorporation of a Complete Streets design included new on-street bicycle accommodation and improved pedestrian mobility by means of sidewalk reconstruction.

The Result
The project was completed in the fall of 2012 and residents are thrilled with the outcome. The area is now more pedestrian friendly, and has seen significant rainfalls without flooding.


2013 ACEC Illinois Engineering Excellence Merit Award