West Washington Street Watershed Drainage Improvements & Community Green Space

CLIENT: City of Champaign, IL

Following completion of our study, design and construction of the first phase of drainage improvements in this flood-prone neighborhood, Clark Dietz has completed the Phase II project in this basin, again providing preliminary and final design, and construction engineering services for drainage improvements.

As with the Phase I project, the primary goal of Phase II was to further improve flood protection levels with the use of additional stormwater retention and an improved drainage system, along with a secondary goal of creating a park-like area for the community. The project consisted of design and bidding phase services for the construction of two new detention basins at the WIRCO/Glenn Park Drive site. The new detention basins were constructed on property the City acquired from WIRCO, Inc., a manufacturing company adjacent to Glenn Park.

The scope of the project also included a full rebuild of the streets over new storm sewer, consisting of new pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and driveway approaches. Work included retention pond designs, storm sewer design, retaining wall and other structural designs, utility coordination, landscaping, and land acquisition services, field surveys, soils borings and pavement cores, and asbestos remediation survey.

Phase III improvements included 5,500 feet of new sewers and 5,100 feet of lined sewers to convey stormwater to the new detention basin. It also created additional bioswales and ten rain gardens to increase runoff storage and delay flooding downstream.

The primary goal of Phase II and Phase III improvements was to improve flood protection levels and stormwater storage in the watershed. Secondary goals were to create an enhanced space for public recreation and public safety. All three objectives were successfully achieved. The approach taken to enhance the entire contributing watershed corridor resulted in 12,300 feet of water main replacement, roadway removal and replacement including concrete, asphalt and brick streets, and new/replaced sidewalks and pathways. Public recreation space was expanded by incorporating park amenities around the detention pond and lighting was enhanced with original replica historic streetlights to shed light on previously dark corridors.

The West Washington Street Watershed Drainage Improvements is an infrastructure investment that will pay dividends to the City of Champaign for future decades. It eases flooding concerns for households within the watershed, provides a safe space for public recreation, and improves water quality in the Copper Slough Channel. It is an example how carefully planned infrastructure can be truly transformative to an urban neighborhood.

Project stakeholders have attested that the Phase II/Phase III drainage improvements to the West Washington Street Watershed have had a transformative impact for flood mitigation and enhanced quality of life.

“It’s just peaceful, it’s beautiful on the water. It’s just relaxation.”

“It’s pretty remarkable. Very nice setting…It’s very beautiful and accommodates this area very well. It’s very peaceful and it’s just somewhere to get away.”

Robert Counce, Champaign resident; excerpted from article in The News-Gazette, 8/8/2018

“It’s incredible. People are out here using it. It’s just a phenomenal project. It turned out better than I think a lot of us thought it could.”

“It’s kind of a go-to destination for people.”

Ed Wachala, neighbor and member of the Park Steering Committee; excerpted from article in The News-Gazette, 8/8/2018

West Washington Street Drainage Improvements, Phase II


2019 APWA Illinois Project of the Year

2021 ACEC Illinois Engineering Excellence Special Achievement Award

2021 ACEC Illinois Judges Choice Award