Underwood Creek Downtown Daylighting Project

Background & Purpose

In 2003, the Village began the Underwood Creek Flood Management project to reduce the risk of flooding in Downtown Elm Grove during large scale rain events. The Flood Management project was successfully tested during a heavy rainstorm in June 2008 and several times since then, during which no overland flooding of any downtown structures occurred.

Creek Daylighting - The process of opening a waterway that has been artificially channeled underground in a pipe.

While daylighting the section of Underwood Creek that currently flows beneath the Park & Shop parking lot and the Sendik’s building was evaluated during preliminary engineering it was not included in the final recommended design plans of the Flood Management Project. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), as a condition of the permit issued for the Flood Management Project, required the Village to actively pursue funding to accomplish the future daylighting of Underwood Creek, as they determined it to be a previously unpermitted structure and therefore not eligible for future repairs.

Through continuous efforts, the Village has successfully secured grant funding for final stream channel design and engineering from the Fund for Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD) and local property owners.

On August 29th, 2017, the Village contracted with Stantec Engineering for the development of final design and layout for daylighting the 900 linear feet of Underwood Creek between Watertown Plank Road and Wall Street. The estimated date of completion for the final engineering phase of the project is April 2018. Additional grant funding opportunities are currently being pursued for the second phase of the project, Underwood Creek relocation and construction.

Once completed, the project will create a lasting impact not only on the ecology of the regional watershed, but will also enhance the downtown corridor by providing greater recreational and leisure amenities for Elm Grove residents for years to come.

Information relating to the potential daylighting of Underwood Creek can be found using the links to the left. This information will be updated as new information becomes available.

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