Work on basins mostly on track, despite rains

Work on basins mostly on track, despite rains

CHAMPAIGN – Construction on two water detention basins between University and Springfield avenues have resulted in some big holes.

But the project, scheduled to be done by the end of next year, is mostly on track.

"(Progress is) going what you'd expect from normal construction projects," said Louis Braghini, the city resident engineer for the project. "It's a matter of working through those little problems and finding a solution to solve those problems."

While the weather has slowed construction on the two basins a bit, Braghini said, he's hoping any lost time now will be made up next year. O'Neil Brothers of Urbana is doing the construction, along with Feutz Construction of Paris, Ill.

The north basin, located north of White Street and west of Second Street, will have a creek at the bottom during low-flow conditions, said Eleanor Blackmon, assistant city engineer. Braghini said it will provide a park-like setting.

The south basin, located north of Springfield Avenue and west of Second Street, is deeper and will always be filled with water.

The basins are the second phase of the Boneyard Creek detention project. According to Blackmon, early next year the city will let bids for the next part of the project. This will include the installation of new culverts to improve drainage at railroad viaducts at Springfield and University avenues and Logan and Chester streets. That work will be finished by the end of next year, as well.

All of that work will prepare the way for the city's next big drainage project, which isn't currently scheduled. It will include digging the Boneyard deeper from Washington Street to University Avenue so it can handle more water.

The idea is, if downstream areas can handle more water, it will move water out of flood-prone areas more quickly.

"The look you see in Scott Park will continue north through the project," Blackmon said.


CHAMPAIGN – If you want to celebrate the improvements to Champaign's Scott Park, stop by a ribbon-cutting at 5:30 tonight at 207 E. Springfield Ave., C.

The city and Champaign Park District redeveloped the park as the city tackled its Boneyard Creek drainage project. Scott Park hadn't changed much since 1970, said Laura Auteberry, the park district's marketing and development director.

Now, the park boasts new lighting, landscaping, a pavilion, park paths, playground areas, a basketball court and a decorative fountain. Underneath it, the city installed culverts and storm structures.

The land for Scott Park was donated in 1891, Auteberry said, and it has been a developed park since the early 1900s. It was known for a while as East Side Park, and its name changed to Scott Park in 1959.

Assistant City Engineer Eleanor Blackmon said she's looking forward to the ribbon-cutting.

"We've gotten a lot of compliments on the way Scott Park looks," she said.

She's also eager for the rest of the water detention basin project north of the park to be complete as well, "so people can see this amenity continuing from Springfield to University, in addition to the flood control we're going to provide" in the area, Blackmon said.