Edgeville Buzz

Andersonville To Participate In An Alternative Construction Program That Could Save Hundreds Of Chicago Trees

The East Andersonville neighborhood came together earlier this year when it was learned that many of the century-old trees that line their streets would be cut down to make way for an impending water main construction project. However, after much protest over their removal and concern that options were not being discussed, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that a new pilot construction program which could save the trees is to begin this Fall. It was also learned that Andersonville would in fact be a part of the program.

Alderman Harry Osterman announced in his weekly email about East Andersonville’s participation in the pilot program which will put a new process in play called cure-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology to line sewer drains rather than the standard invasive trenching method. The original plan to use trenching to install the sewer drains would have called for the removal of 17 mature trees that have long been a part of the community on Farragut (between Clark & Glenwood), Berwyn (between Clark & Glenwood), Summerdale (between Ashland & Glenwood), and Balmoral (between Ashland & Lakewood).

Back in April when they first heard about the tree removal, East Andersonville residents looked for a solution in order to save the trees. They found it in a new process called CIPP technology which could be an ideal option.The process is already used throughout Illinois to rehabilitate underground pipes and water mains. It involves inserting a woven liner injected with epoxy resin into the existing pipes giving them a brand new quality structure and another 50 years or more of life.

With Ald. Osterman working with the community, they asked Commissioner Randy Conner, of the Department of Water Management to consider CIPP.  However, it fell upon deaf ears at the department prompting resident’s to seek the help of  Mayor Lightfoot in a written letter.

“Neighbors in East Andersonville have advocated to save the trees and I heard their concerns and brought them to the Mayor’s Office,” explained Ald. Osterman. “Yesterday Mayor Lightfoot announced a planned pilot program to explore options that could prevent the need to remove trees while still maintaining water quality.”

The pilot program to explore CIPP technologies to line pipes as an alternative to replacing them will begin in late October in East Andersonville. The Department of Water Management will work with an independent third party consultant to help homeowners affected by the construction and monitor the pilot program’s results. The City will then use that information to determine a process for when CIPP might be used instead of open trenching.

“Our community’s advocacy and persistence in seeking alternative options for private drain replacement in order to save the trees has made this pilot program possible,” Ald. Osterman added.  “I thank you all for your patience with the condition of streets in the neighborhood that are awaiting the completion of the water main replacement project.”

Though CIPP is promising for protecting healthy Chicago trees from being cut down, Ald. Osterman mentioned that even if successful there will be instances when they will have to be removed.

 


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