Project Updates

Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel

The Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel will run under Foster Avenue in order to retain excess stormwater to prevent flooding in Albany Park.

More information:



Updates for Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel

March 2, 2016

Presentation from 2/29/16 Public Meeting

You can view the PowerPoint presentation about the Albany Park Tunnel from the February 29, 2016 public meeting here

May 23, 2016

Groundbreaking for Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel

Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th ) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel broke ground Sunday for the Albany Park Storm Water Diversion Tunnel. They were joined at the groundbreaking by Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Mike Quigley, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners President Mariyana Spyropoulous, and officials of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT).

“This drainage tunnel will eliminate the danger of floods that have plagued our northwest side neighborhood for more than a century,” Alderman Laurino said. “In the meantime, we’ve coordinated protective safety measures with CDOT and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) against potential flooding. We’ve also pledged to keep residents updated on the tunnel project completion.”

May 23rd Groundbreaking for the Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel
December 5, 2016

12/5/2016: Public Meeting + New Timeline

Thanks to all who attended the public meeting about the tunnel project on 12/5/2016.

A new timeline was revealed for the remainder of the project:














See the presentation given at the 12/5/2016 meeting here. (PDF)

Photos from the meeting on our Facebook page.

March 28, 2017

Spring 2017 Updates

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced that the second phase of the Albany Park Stormwater Diversion project begins this week. Controlled blasting at the flood intake site just north of Foster Ave. at Springfield Ave will begin on Tuesday, March 21, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Also beginning Monday, March 21, one lane of Foster will be closed in each direction, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to start the work of connecting water service to the new park being created after blasting is completed. This work will not require full closure in either westbound or eastbound directions of travel on Foster and will be lifted before rush hour every day.

During the past six months, controlled blasting has occurred at the eastern end of the tunnel project, creating a hole dropping 150 feet below street level, and wide enough to build the tunnel boring machine that will ultimately do the drilling work underground. That machine is currently under construction and is expected to be activated within the next several weeks.

Controlled blasting will occur at the Foster/Springfield location approximately every other day, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. For each blasting round, there will be a horn warning system in effect adjacent to the shaft with horn signals staring ten minutes in advance of the event, as well as warning signs installed on Foster (see attached map with warning signs). Traffic on Foster will be halted momentarily at the time of blasting. If Emergency vehicles are traveling on Foster, they will not be halted and will be let through; a detonation can be halted at any point in the process. Contractor and City personnel will also be stationed at site perimeter points to provide awareness to the public. The actual explosion round should not last longer than 1 minute.

The project is expected to be completed by May, 2018. Improvements at Eugene Field Park at the western end of the tunnel include landscaping, new trees, a new walkway, benches and a water fountain.

River Park, at the east end of the project, will also be significantly improved. The City is building a new regulation size baseball field and diamond, complete with backstop fence, batter cage, and also a soccer field. There will also be landscaping and trees planted at River Park.

Editor's Note – Attached to this release are pictures of 1) a drill bit that will be installed on the tunnel boring machine, 2) a view of the tunnel from the western edge of the project and, 3) a map of where construction signs and warning information will be posted on Foster at the intake end of the project.

October 10, 2017

Tunnel Update Oct 2017

Alderman Laurino has received the following update from the Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel resident engineer:


With blasting and mining excavation complete, the contractor is expected to commence with concrete lining of the tunnel this week.  Starting this week and continuing thru November, the contractor plans to pour concrete thru the inlet shaft at Eugene Park for the tunnel lining each weekday from 7:00AM until 5:00PM.  

Similar to the hauling operations during the mining, the concrete trucks, delivering nearly 400 cy a day, will add traffic volume on Foster Avenue.  Also similar to the excavation hauling plan, the arrival and release of trucks will be spread over intervals throughout the day which will prevent a rush or overflow of traffic volume from the site onto the roadway.  This approach was successful during the excavation hauling activities, and we expect it will assist in reducing the traffic impacts on Foster Avenue during the tunnel lining operations. Roadway flaggers will be stationed at the site entrances to guide the entry and egress of the trucks in and out of the roadway.  Please be assured, that all flaggers and delivery drivers are instructed not to obstruct emergency vehicles at any time.  

Our project team will continue to practice safety and public awareness throughout all the construction activities, and we will continue to update everyone with relevant information as progress is made.  Our team has personnel on-site throughout all operations. 

Below is a tunnel photo of the form during installation operations.

May 9, 2018

Foster Lane / Sidewalk Closure

Starting on Monday, May 14, crews will be closing down the northern most sidewalk and lane at the tunnel's inlet site.

Affected Areas: FOSTER Avenue (Pulaski to Springfield)

While the tunnel is operational, there is still work that needs to be done.

The lane and sidewalk closure should last approximately 3 weeks.

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