The Village of Lincolnwood celebrated the completion of its water transmission main project on August 13, 2020, with a ceremonial turning of the valve, signifying the transition of the Village’s water supply from the City of Chicago to the City of Evanston. Mayor Barry Bass of Lincolnwood and Mayor Stephen Hagerty of Evanston shared the honor of turning the valve, thereby signifying the partnership between the two communities. The move is projected to ensure more stable water rates and save Village water consumers over the long run.
“This project represents an investment in the future of Lincolnwood and the people who call our village home,” said Village President Barry Bass. “This switch to a more cost-effective and stable source of water has been a long time in the making, and I am proud to see it come to fruition.”
The search for an alternate water supplier began in response to the City of Chicago’s drastic increase in water rates since 2007, where rates increased by 200 percent.
In 2012 the Village participated in a water transmission main study to evaluate potential routes from Evanston’s water transmission plant to various new wholesale customers. The goal was to identify a wholesale water supplier and enter into an agreement with an established methodology for setting and increasing the rate.
After reviewing a study of potential routes to connect the Village’s water pumping station to the Evanston water system just east of the North Shore Channel at Oakton Street, the Village Board decided on a route along Hamlin Avenue in 2018. Later that year, the Village entered into a 39-year water supply agreement with Evanston.
Village Manager Anne Marie Gaura stated, “This project of accessing Lake Michigan water from the City of Evanston was truly intergovernmental cooperation at its best. The connection was made possible by running the Transmission Main through the Village of Skokie. Much gratitude is expressed to both communities in helping Lincolnwood realize a once in a century project of significant community impact.”
“Finishing this project took a significant amount of coordination, among utilities, neighboring municipalities, and other stakeholders,” said Public Works Director Andrew Letson. “We are grateful to all our partners who have helped us make the switch to a better water supply for Lincolnwood.”
The Village worked with Rosemont-based Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL) on the route study, design of the new three miles of 20” transmission main and oversight of the construction, which began in 2019.
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