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Illinois finishes $18 million project to avoid regional flooding in Lake Forest

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(The Center Square) – An $18.3 million project to fix certain Illinois roadways has been completed, as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and others celebrate the finishing of the pump station and safety upgrades at Deerpath Road and Skokie Highway.

The project is part of the governor’s $33 billion Rebuild Illinois capital program approved in 2019 and funded by tax and fee increases, including a doubling of the state’s gas tax. The latest project is expected to stop flooding in the Lake Forest area, which in the past has experienced several events. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Pritzker discussed the project on Thursday.

“Thanks to a more than $18 million investment made possible by Rebuild Illinois, we have entirely relocated and reconstructed the existing pump station, built two new detention ponds to handle any excess flow from the pump station, in addition to making multiple safety improvements that alleviate flooding and guarantee access to this major roadway,” Pritzker said.

The pump station will fix issues many Lake Forest residents face every time it rains, Pritzker said.

“Anyone who frequents this area knows all too well that the viaduct on Deerpath Road and U.S. Route 41 is prone to severe flooding every time there is a major storm,” Pritzker said. “Regular road closures keep children from getting to school, prevent parents from getting to the grocery store, and in the worst cases blocks families from getting their loved ones to the hospital.”

IDOT Secretary Omer Osman said the project will have an impact on safety as well.

“Residents of Lake Forest and the surrounding area now can safely count on the roads they depend on to stay open during major rains, ensuring more quality time at home with their families,” Osman said.

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