• Debra Hammond

Conservancy solves May Day emergency flooding at tunnel

At our last clean-up on May 1, Conservancy volunteers arrived to find the tunnel flooded after heavy rain the night before. Unwilling to wade through several feet of water and slick mud, pedestrians and bikers were hiking to the 57th St underpass to get to the lakefront.

Turns out all eight drains -- four on the east side of the tunnel and four on the west side -- were clogged badly with mud and debris. Within minutes, Conservancy volunteers cleared the northwest and southwest drains sufficient to empty the tunnel, and people, dogs and bikes could get to the Point.

Conservancy workers were able to dig down with hand tools and clear out the drains well enough to prevent further flooding of the tunnel. And since then, the drains are continuing to function during rain storms and the tunnel remains clear.

At upcoming clean-ups, the Conservancy will work its way around all the clogged drains at the Point.

The Conservancy has also asked the Chicago Park District to rout all eight tunnel drains and will provide location and status of the other drains at the Point that need routing. For the past three years, Promontory Point has not had a park supervisor to oversee and care for the park.

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