Chicago/DWM/Joliet/CPD Responses to Durkin Park Questions
1. What is additional revenue going to be used for and is any of it coming back into the community on a yearly basis or is this a one-time improvement of parks?
A: By ordinance, all funds from sales of water go directly to Chicago’s Water Revenue Fund – one of the dedicated “Enterprise funds” in the City’s budget – and can be used only for operation and improvement of the water system. The additional annual revenue generated by selling water to Joliet, therefore, will help maintain our water system and reduce costs to Chicago residents.
The Chicago Park District will receive from Joliet funding to construct significant, lasting improvements to Durkin, Rainey, Bogan and Scottsdale Parks to benefit the community for decades to come.
2. How often during the project will the City have rodent patrol servicing the area for the influx of rats and CDOT patching due to construction?
A: The City is sensitive to this concern. Chicago will monitor closely any incidence of increased rodent activity associated with construction activity and will work aggressively to address and resolve such problems if and when they arise.
Joliet is aware of provisions in previous versions of Chicago’s Building Code that address rodent abatement for new construction (13-32-140). Our design team is committed to working with City and neighborhood representatives during project design to incorporate best practices into the construction specifications for the proposed water supply improvement projects.
3. Length of time for construction? Include weekends? Joliet cover project over costs?
A: The projected timeframe for construction at Durkin Park is from the fall of 2025 through the fall of 2027, and as of 2028 the Park will be restored and fully re-opened for public use. Construction at the Southwest Pumping Station, which will not affect the main areas of Durkin Park, is scheduled from 2024-2030.
The City of Chicago’s standards for construction work hours in residential neighborhoods will be used as a starting point for the development of detailed requirements that will be included in the project specifications. The City’s current noise ordinance prohibits the use of motorized equipment at construction sites between 8 PM and 8 AM. At this time, no work on weekends is anticipated. Contractor requests for variances from the specified working hours will have to be reviewed and approved by Joliet and Chicago in advance.
Joliet is responsible for all costs for the construction of the facilities that it will own. The total cost for construction of facilities to be owned by Chicago will be used in the calculation of the rate that Joliet will pay Chicago for the purchase of water.
4. Will City of Joliet be responsible for future maintenance and repairs to underground equipment and restoration of park as needed?
A: The City of Joliet is responsible for the operation and future maintenance of the meter vault, underground reservoir, the high service pump station, and the transmission main from the site to Joliet. Chicago is responsible for the operation and future maintenance of the tunnel connection, tunnel extension and low service pump station. The O&M costs associated with these Chicago-owned improvements will be incorporated into the water rate that Chicago charges Joliet. Joliet is also responsible for restoration of Durkin Park following construction and is paying the Chicago Park District to construct new features and amenities at Durkin Park and other nearby parks, which are managed and will be maintained by the Chicago Park District going forward.
5. Will added air quality testing be done on a regular basis with added construction equipment being brought into the community?
A: Efforts related to protecting air quality will begin with specifications that require the construction contractor to conduct his operations in a way that limits potential impacts. For example, it is expected that the specifications will include requirements for the contractor to operate a “Clean Diesel Fleet” in accordance with Section 2-92-595 of the Chicago Municipal Code and to develop and implement appropriate dust control measures (water sprays, street sweeping, etc.). Details of these measures will be developed during design.
Joliet’s consultant team is familiar with practices used for monitoring of environmental conditions at construction sites and looks forward to working with the City of Chicago and neighborhood representatives to develop and implement appropriate processes for monitoring and reporting on air quality during the proposed construction effort.
[NOTE: Joliet is willing to consider the installation/use of air quality monitoring equipment during construction to provide a quantitative basis for tracking conditions and responding to complaints.]
6. Sound quality for students attending Durkin School. What is going to be done to minimize the sound to avoid disruptions in teaching and learning for students?
A: Joliet, the Department of Water Management and project construction managers will take steps needed to minimize excessive noise and prevent any disruption of classroom instruction at Durkin Elementary School.
Joliet and its consultant team look forward to working with City, school, and community representatives to understand schedules and routines for student, faculty, staff, and parent activities so that efforts to manage impacts from construction can be incorporated into the project design and construction documents.
[NOTE: Joliet is willing to consider the installation/use of noise monitoring equipment during construction to provide a quantitative basis for tracking conditions and responding to complaints.]
7. What will be done to address the issues of traffic before and after school? Additional crossing guards? Temporary change of streets from two-way to one-way?
A: Joliet and Chicago have already begun conversations about this with the Principal of Durkin Elementary School. We are committed to addressing traffic issues during construction to facilitate dropping off and picking up students and to ensure this important process goes smoothly at the beginning and end of the school day.
Design documents for the projects will include separate, clearly defined traffic control plans for construction vehicles and for school traffic. Joliet and its consultant team look forward to working with City, school, and community representatives to understand schedules and routines for student, faculty, staff, and parent activities so that efforts to manage impacts from construction can be incorporated into the project design and construction documents.
8. Drainage issues as well need to be addressed by the Pumping Station as water does not drain properly into the ground when it rains or when snow melts.
A: Joliet’s design team is actively involved in discussions with the Department of Water Management regarding stormwater management requirements for the project.
9. Quarterly updates on the progression of construction so residents are aware of what’s going on.
A: The Department of Water Management, Joliet, and the Chicago Park District are working closely with the office of 18th Ward Alderman Derrick Curtis and plan ongoing communication with residents to keep them informed of construction progress via emails, websites, and other means. We encourage residents to provide their email addresses for this purpose.
[NOTE: Joliet is willing to work with the City and the neighborhood to establish key topics to be addressed at quarterly meetings during the design process.]
Items submitted for the Chicago Park District and CPD draft responses:
“Things we’d like to see at Durkin Park after it’s renovated:”
1. Durkin Park to have its own building with a workout area, meeting room, and gym. This area needs another gym and adding one to Durkin would be priority number one.
We understand there is a strong community request for more indoor public programming space in the park. While the construction of a new field house in Durkin Park is beyond the scope of this Joliet/DWM project, the City, Park District and CPS will meet to discuss ways to increase public programming in Durkin Park including the possibility of facility expansion.
2. Water feature added so residents are not currently using the 50-year-old sprinklers that are there. Whether it’s a pool or some other water feature.
Yes.[TO1] Replacing the aged spray feature with a new spray feature can be included in the park improvements.
3. A walking/running track outdoors – many residents walk around Durkin Park to get exercise.
Maybe due to park size[TO2] . We will need more input from the community on exactly what type of feature they would like – e.g., perimeter walking path, regulation track around turf field. We can then see how to add this amenity to the park and discuss with the community what other program elements may need to be moved or removed to fit in a walking track.
4. An electronic scoreboard – this is important to attract more leagues back to the park for soccer and baseball. This would also be great for Rainey Park as well.
Yes. We can look into including new electronic scoreboards in the park improvements.