September 26, 2013
The quarry, which will be renamed Thornton Reservoir, is expected to hold 7.9 billion gallons of water, protecting homes in the nearby South Side and the south suburbs from floods and preventing pollution from reaching the Chicago River waterways.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, supervising civil engineer at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDC), went on camera this week to provide more details about the quarry and the future reservoir.
Fitzpatrick said the Thornton reservoir is part of the tunnel and reservoir plan that the MWRDC created in 1972 to solve the Chicago area’s two major problems: flooding and pollution.
“The tunnel and reservoir plan gives that water a place to stay during the storm until it can be treated afterward and cleaned at one of our water reclamation plants,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick noted that the reservoir will connect to the deep tunnel system that is under construction. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2015.
“At that time, this will be all operational and we’ll be able to start reaping the benefits of the project,” Fitzpatrick said.
Check out the full video above to watch the “last blast” at the quarry and to hear more about the Thornton Reservoir project.