About the Pittman Property
Located in the Village of Antioch town center at the intersection of Main, Depot and Orchard Streets, is a two-acre parcel known as the Pittman Property. The portion of the property with the failed creek culvert is privately owned. It is zoned as “Village Core” and could accommodate commercial, residential or a mixed-use application. The property is currently for sale by the owners.
The role of the Village in relation to the parcel is to keep the property secured, and to work with the owners to implement a solution. The Village of Antioch makes safety and well-being a priority. Many have asked “Why doesn’t the Village just fix the culvert?” The condition of the culvert is not repairable, and the active creek must be relocated into a new culvert or other conveyance system. This is a complex and costly endeavor and feasible solutions will take some time to develop. The Village will continue to work with its engineering and environmental consultants to perform due diligence and ultimately formulate solutions that are in the best interests of the community. The Village will work as quickly and diligently as possible for a resolution and appreciates the community’s support.
The culvert: safety, status & next steps
The Village installed a culvert in this location nearly 45 years ago and is responsible for its repair. Over time, heavy rains and corrosion of the steel caused the integrity of the culvert to fail, leading to a ground collapse above it (creating a sinkhole).
For safety, and to mitigate the potential of material washing into the creek and obstructing flow, an emergency declaration was signed by Mayor Lawrence Hanson. This declaration grants the Village certain powers to protect properties from damage, including flooding.
Many have expressed concerns about the sinkhole impacting Main Street. Although there is no way to guarantee it will not, the likelihood this would occur is low. The culvert under Main Street is concrete and is considered more stable than the metal culvert. With flow maintained into the concrete section at a normal capacity, it is anticipated it will function properly until a permanent solution is in place.
The Public Works Department, under the direction of Director Heimbrodt, has removed all remaining material that sits over the culvert pipe. This has taken the load off the pipe and decreased the probability of future failure. It will also keep material from entering the creek and creating a blockage. This has worked to maintain flow capacity within existing pipe sections and stabilize the area. Material is stockpiled at the site and will remain there until all environmental testing is complete.
While the current situation is being managed and monitored, the Village will continue to work with its team and environmental and engineering consultants to fully understand the environmental conditions and present feasible solutions. Final use of the property has not yet been determined and will require action by the Village Board. Options include having the creek remain underground, opening it up, or a combination/mix of each. Project updates can be found online at antioch.il.gov. Questions or comments can also be directed to Village Hall at 847-395-1000.