US Army Corps of Engineers
Chicago District Website Website

Des Plaines River - Phase I


Water Resources Development Act 1999 (Public Law 106-53)


The Des Plaines River has a long history of flooding that has caused significant economic losses. The maximum flood of record occurred in September 1986 with an estimated $35 million in damage to 10,000 dwellings and 263 business and industrial sites. More than 15,000 residents were evacuated from the flooded area and seven lives were lost. Severe impacts to transportation networks were also identified in this area of 33 municipalities along 67 miles of river in two counties.

The flood damage reduction project consists of six structural elements: two levees, two expansions of existing reservoirs, one lateral storage area, and one dam modification. The levee projects include a flood warning system. Work involves construction of the Mount Prospect/Prospect Heights Levee, also known as Levee 37; the Rand Park Levee, also known as Levee 50; the Buffalo Creek Reservoir expansion; the Big Bend Lake expansion; the Van Patten Woods lateral storage area; and the North Fork Mill Creek dam modification.


Total Project Cost:

  $ 103,000,000

Federal Cost:

  $ 67,000,000

Non-Federal Cost:

  $ 36,000,000


USACE Chicago District recently requested a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) from FEMA by submitting all necessary documentation for Levee 37.  At the same time we are working with the IDNR on closure structure for a drainage pipe that was discovered during the 2018 annual inspection and anticipate that this effort will result in a construction contract in the near future.  We also are working to upgrade pump station #2 based on new information that was presented by the Village of Mount Prospect.  That effort is currently in the 50% Plans and Specifications phase of work and should continue into early 2020 before a construction contract is awarded.

Van Patten Woods Lateral Storage was rejected by the Lake County Forest Preserve District as a possible project and now joins the other four recommended projects as on permanent hold until a final decision can be made about their future

Project Manager

Jeffrey Zuercher

Project Area

Click map to enlarge.