Casten unveils project selections that would bring more than $30 million in federal funding

Congressman Sean Casten speaks during a press conference and interactive tour of the Lion Electric vehicle manufacturing facility. Monday, Mar. 21, 2022, in Joliet.

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) has announced his community projects for fiscal year 2024, which could bring more than $30.4 million in federal funding to the Chicago area.

The 15 projects requested by Casten would improve emergency services, build out electric-vehicle charging stations, create safe recreation facilities for children experiencing homelessness, provide clean drinking water, fund job readiness programming for teens and address other issues, a news release stated. The projects must be passed as part of the FY 2024 omnibus government funding package.

“After an extremely competitive community project submission process and some very tough decisions, I’m proud to advocate for funding for projects that will do so much to improve the lives of folks in Chicagoland,” Casten said in the release. “From keeping our water clean to improving our 911 infrastructure, and educating our teens on how to succeed in the workforce to fortifying the EV grid, and from providing a safe recreation area for children to ensuring resilience against floods and stormwater damage, these projects will do so much for our community.”

Below are projects in the My Suburban Life area for that Casten requested funding. Last year, Casten delivered nearly $16 million in federal funding for community projects in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District.

Project Sponsor: City of Elmhurst

Project Address: 209 N. York St., Elmhurst

Requested Amount: $15 million

Project Description: This funding would be used to improve the city’s waste reclamation facility. The project will prepare the WRF for a known NPDES permit effluent total phosphorus limit of 1.0 mg/L in 2031, and anticipated future effluent TP as low as 0.35 mg/L. In order to meet the known compliance schedule, the city has initiated the project to replace and/or rehabilitate critical equipment that is beyond its useful life. Upon completion of the project, the city will be well positioned to maintain its known schedule for effluent phosphorus compliance to the 1.0 mg/L limit, and will have the flexibility to implement future improvements, as needed, to meet lower effluent TP limits as required by the IEPA.

Project Sponsor: DuPage Pads

Project Address: 601 W. Liberty Drive, Wheaton

Requested Amount: $346,840

Project Description: This project would provide children experiencing homelessness who are receiving emergency shelter with a safe, onsite playground space to engage in recreational activities. Currently, the children who stay at the interim housing center do not have access to a place to play outside because they are not within walking distance of a park. Specifically, this funding would enable the installation of a playground structure on the grounds, with a child-safe fence, as well as the installation of [artificial turf], a shed and cement repairs around the property to ensure safe walking surfaces.

Project Sponsor: Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Project Address: 3S580 Naperville Road, Wheaton

Requested Amount: $750,000 for Maple Grove Bridge Replacement

Project Description: The Maple Grove Bridge Replacement will help protect water quality and maintain recreational access in the Maple Grove Forest Preserve, part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve. Bridge inspections have determined the bridge, which crosses St. Joseph’s Creek, is structurally deficient. The bridge provides north-south access through Maple Grove Forest Preserve and between ballfields at Gilbert Park and neighborhoods along Gilbert Avenue and Maple Road. It also carries a significant sanitary sewer overflow pipe for the Downers Grove Sanitary District. Its permanent removal would eliminate the only north-south pedestrian route in the preserve, and minimize the sanitary district’s service area. The Maple Grove Bridge Replacement project was certified as a priority within the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Master Plan, approved in 2019.

Project Sponsor: Village of Indian Head Park

Project Address: 201 Acacia Drive, Indian Head Park

Requested Amount: $947,775 for water main repairs

Project Description: The proposed water main repair projects are essential to continued access to safe drinking water for the residents and businesses of Indian Head Park. These water main sections are located near the village’s primary commercial and industrial neighborhoods. Water main breaks in these areas can be very disruptive to the local businesses and residents who rely on them for safe and accessible drinking water. Additionally, increased water main breaks increase costs for the water department, which, over time, may necessitate increasing fees, something the village wants to avoid for its residents and businesses.

Project Sponsor: Village of Western Springs

Project Address: 740 Hillgrove Ave., Western Springs

Requested Amount: $1 million for the Ridgewood Drive Flood Project

Project Description: A new sewer outfall and added inlets on Ridgewood Drive are needed to stop flooding from occurring and impacting the 32 homes on the street that are rendered inaccessible during a flooding event. Due to a lack of upstream detention, undersized culverts, undersized ditches and a lack of suitable flow paths, significant flooding occurs on Ridgewood Drive in the Ridgewood subdivision.

About 300 acres of drainage area flows through Ridgewood subdivision on its way to Flagg Creek (which is the western border of the subdivision). More than half the drainage area is offsite flows from the unincorporated Cook County (area) known locally as La Grange Highlands. During heavy, short-duration, high-intensity rainfalls, the existing drainage systems are overwhelmed, resulting in stormwater flowing westward through side yards, down Longmeadow Drive, and eventually pooling on Ridgewood Drive.

Project Sponsor: Oak Brook Park District

Project Address: 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook

Requested Amount: $1,479,080 for Ginger Creek Accessible Bridge and Shoreline Restoration

Project Description: This project would allow for safe, accessible and unobstructed trail access over Ginger Creek, and natural restoration will contribute to creating healthier creeks (Ginger Creek and Salt Creek), which is an asset to the community, a recreational amenity for residents, and an essential component of a healthy environment.

Project Sponsor: Village of La Grange

Project Address: 53 S. La Grange Road, La Grange

Requested Amount: $1,434,000 for storm and sewer rehabilitation

Project Description: The funding would be used for storm and combined sanitary sewer rehabilitation, about 92,900 linear feet of pipe would be evaluated and rehabilitated to ensure optimal functionality for resiliency against flooding and stormwater.

To see all 15 projects, visit

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