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 was until recently owned by the Pittman family. It is zoned as “Village Core” and could accommodate commercial, residential or a mixed-use application. The Village of Antioch purchased the property and closed on the sale December 15, 2020.
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 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).
Heavy rains impacted the sinkhole(s) and caused the condition to become an elevated concern. 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 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.
Effective with the signed order, the Public Works Department, under the direction of Director Heimbrodt, has removed all remaining material that sat over the culvert pipe. This will help take the load off the pipe to decrease the probability of future failure. It will also keep material from entering the creek and creating a blockage. The immeadiate goal is to maintain flow capacity within existing pipe sections and stabilize the area.
While the current situation is being managed and monitored, the Village will continue to work with its team and environmental and engineering consultants to formulate and present feasible solutions.
What will happen next?
The Village has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to solicit qualified consulting firms to develop a Downtown Beautification Plan to include streetscapes, parking lots, arcades, and the Pittman property with the goal of defining our downtown character, improving safety, increasing vibrancy and setting the stage for private investment. Respondents to the request have been evaluated and the Village Board will soon make it’s selection at a future public meeting.
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. Integral to the process for determining the use and programming of the property will be robust public input and engagement. Project updates can be found online at antioch.il.gov. Questions or comments can also be directed to Village Hall at 847-395-1000.