MWRD of Greater Chicago Streambank Stabilization on Melvina Ditch

Nov. 30, 2022

In order to protect Nashville Avenue and business adjacent to the Melvina Ditch, which is the stormwater diversion channel for a large portion of the Chicago and the southern suburbs, from active streambank erosion, this project sought to restore storm sewer outlets and the riparian corridor with active vegetation.  

To help, a 12.5 foot-high retaining wall was reinforced on the east streambank of Melvina Ditch, which ensures that the parking lot and access road to the Chicago Ridge Mall would not fail.  

“We are satisfied with how the project was constructed,” TK said. “The highly technical and dynamic site challenged us as a team to deliver a product that was essential to the overall project's success.” 

To reach completion, the project team had to work through several challenges, including a one-way construction road that limited access to the wall and rain events causing multiple-day delays. Additionally, the ditch is on an active diversion channel, meaning the project team dealth with numerous saturated subsoils. To combat this, the team over-excavated and backfilled with additional gravel base and/or concrete aprons in several locations.  

As of print time, the project is completed and performing as designed, the team said. The retaining wall currently supports a 40-acre parking lot and a streambank that diverts tens of millions of gallons during a storm event. 

Location: Oak Lawn & Chicago Ridge, Illinois  

Cost: $2.4 mm 

Size: 30,000 square feet? 

Owner: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago 

Manager: Derek Brehm 

Designer: Stantec Inc. 

Contractors: Cardinal State, LLC 

Manufacturers: Redi-Rock, Brown Precast