US Senator Durbin of Illinois pledges $3.5 million for Cahokia Heights sewer repairs
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, pledged $3.5 million in additional federal funding for Cahokia Heights’ faulty sewer system.
Federal budget money will be funneled to Cahokia Heights through the Army Corp of Engineers and will help fund an existing project for the city’s main line.
“It’s about making sure the quality of life is improved for the people who live in this area,” Durbin said. “Can you imagine dealing with this type of flooding on a real-life basis in your home – in your home? It’s not a once in a lifetime thing; it’s way too common.
Last week, the Corps and city officials signed an agreement for the $4.67 million project that officials say will take a few years. These officials say the 9-mile line project will correct pipeline deficiencies and ensure reliability.
This latest project is accompanied by a nearly $10 million project funded by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which will also involve the city’s main trunk and 35 pump stations.
“If this main line, this main conduit, is not repaired, it negatively affects all the other sewers in the community,” said Jim Nold, senior project manager at Hurst Rosche, the engineering company designing the project. for the city. .
Durbin also acknowledged that any repairs to the city’s infrastructure will not happen as quickly as residents who have long struggled with backed up sewers and standing water in their basements would like.
“They have a right to be frustrated,” he said.
Durbin visited Cahokia Heights last August, where he announced American Rescue Plan Act support for the city’s repairs.
On Friday, the East St. Louis native said he wants to move the project forward by bringing together state and regional leaders to discuss how other communities can help address the issue affecting some residents of the city for a long time.
“We need regional cooperation to deal with this,” he said. “It’s just not a Cahokia Heights or East St. Louis problem. It is a regional problem. We have to approach it regionally.