Listen to this article

URBANA — The Urbana and Champaign Sanitary District wants to replace a 1950s bridge in Urbana’s Crystal Lake Park, and sanitary district officials are hoping Champaign County will cover the cost.

This project is one of several sewer and drainage projects that will be pitched to the county board’s Environment and Land Use Committee tonight in hope of securing some of the county’s federal American Rescue Act funding to help pay for the work.

Sanitary District Executive Director Rick Manner said he’ll be asking the county for $550,000 for the bridge replacement and $617,000 for targeted debt relief for sanitary district customers who are behind on their bills.

The bridge, on the north side of Crystal Lake Park, was originally built when Champaign was expanding west. The bridge has two 24-inch sewer pipes built into its lower third, Manner said.

The pipes carry sewage — via gravity — from as far away as Mattis Avenue, downtown Champaign and the Market Place Mall vicinity across the lake to the sanitary district’s treatment plant, Manner said.

“It is one of the most important sewers that we have, and it needs some love,” he said.

Here are a few of the other projects the board committee will hear about:

Pesotum’s turn-of-the-century — and undersized — drainage tiles need to be replaced, said Pesotum Consolidated Drainage District Commissioner Chris Hausman.

These are major tiles that drain the west half of Pesotum and about 4,000 acres of farmland, he said.

“They’ve never been replaced. They’ve went far beyond their life expectancy of those clay-based tiles, and they’re failing at an alarming rate,” he said.

The drainage district is proposing the county pick up half of the approximately $360,000 cost, with the other half funded by property owners, contingent on a court-approved levy, he said.

  • Ludlow Village President Steve Thomas said it would cost about $5 million for Ludlow to connect to Rantoul’s sewer system, and, he contended, this is an important health and safety issue for the village.

“That would be something that would really benefit us,” he said. “And Rantoul. We’d be paying sewage fees to them.”

  • Thomasboro Village President Tyler Evans said storm drainage improvements are needed on the northwest side of town to help prevent flooding during heavy rain.

The village is still waiting on quotes, but the project is expected to cost $200,000 to $400,000, he said.

Some of the cost can potentially be picked up by the village’s own federal ARPA funds or its general fund, Evans said.

  • Among other presentations to be made to the board committee will be one from the city of Champaign on drainage improvements for the city’s Garden Hills neighborhood and one on a Mahomet Aquifer mapping project.

County Executive Darlene Kloeppel said she contacted some drainage districts and communities in the county about their potential water infrastructure projects, and all presentations are being made by invitation.

County board member Eric Thorsland, who chairs the Environment and Land Use Committee, said the committee will be listening to the presenters and asking questions but won’t be making any decisions at this point. That discussion will be part of the county budgeting process, he said.

The county has been allotted about $40 million in ARPA funding intended to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trending Videos