10172020 Garden Hills demolitions

The Champaign City Council is set to vote Tuesday on final approval of demolition of 18 more houses in the Garden Hills neighborhood, like the ones above along Hedge Road, to make room for a new detention basin as part of a plan to alleviate longstanding flooding issues in the area.

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CHAMPAIGN — Pending city council approval, 18 more Garden Hills properties are set to be demolished, another step toward improving the Champaign neighborhood’s longstanding flooding issues.

Earlier this year, the city approved contracts to demolish 18 properties along Hedge Road, and after Tuesday’s vote on a $235,000 contract with Shafer Excavating, only 11 will remain where the city hopes to build a detention basin.

Those demolitions are expected to be brought to the council later this year.

The project will be funded from the Garden Hills Drainage Improvements Project in the Stormwater Management Fund, city staff said.

Before the homes are demolished, they are tested for asbestos, which is removed if present.

After demolition, the properties are being backfilled with clean clay and topsoil.

Residents in the soon-to-be-demolished properties were provided relocation benefits, as required by federal regulations, public works spokesman Kris Koester said earlier this year. That could include reimbursement for moving expenses or rental assistance.

The acquisition and demolition of properties is the first of five phases in the city’s $44 million drainage and street improvement project for Garden Hills.

In Phase 2, the detention basin will be built, something that isn’t expected to begin until 2030.

Phase 3 includes installing large storm sewers to funnel water toward the basin, and Phase 4 calls for installing smaller storm sewers to connect to the larger sewers.

In the fifth phase, {a class=”hoverZoomLink” href=”https://champaignil.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Garden-Hills-Watershed-Phasing.jpg” rel=”external noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”}all remaining streets{/a} in the neighborhood will be rebuilt, from Bloomington Road on the north to Bradley Avenue on the south and McKinley Avenue on the east to Mattis Avenue on the west.