Edgeville Buzz

Pilot Program That Could Save Hundreds Of Chicago Trees Has Begun In Andersonville

48th Ward Photo

A new City of Chicago pilot program started in Andersonville last Friday that will test a new construction method to fix aging pipes. If successful, the technology will most likely save thousands of mature trees over time in places like Andersonville and the rest of the city.

It has been nearly a year now since the an ambitious water main replacement project started in Andersonville. However, that project was put on hold since May after residents banded together to halt the destruction of multiple century-old trees needed to be cut down for the work.

When it was learned the trees that line their streets would be cut down to make way for an impending water main construction project, the East Andersonville neighborhood started to organize. However, after much protest over their removal and concern that options like cure-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology were not being discussed, Commissioner Randy Conner of the Department of Water Management remained unswayed in his decision to cut down the trees.

CIPP is a new technology that 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. The process in non-invasive and extends the life of pipes without the need for destroying nearby trees.

Then in May, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stepped in opting to test CIPP in Chicago as a solution to the problem giving East Andersonville hope for the pilot program’s success. In an emailed statement put out by Ald. Harry Osterman’s office last Friday, he announced that the CIPP pilot program has officially begun.

“Our community, along with projects in the 19th and 27th Wards, has been selected to participate in this pilot which begins today,” wrote Osterman on Friday. “A water main replacement project that began nearly a year ago in Andersonville has been on hold since May, due to concerns from neighbors about the need to take down more than a dozen trees in order to comply with water quality requirements by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.”

It is unclear as to how long the pilot program will take or when results will be communicated. However, the Alderman said that East Andersonville homes with impacted trees and drains can expect to hear from both the contractor and the 48th Ward office this next week with more information about specific cases.

If any residents have questions about the project, they can contact Emily Volini at emily@48thward.org.

 


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