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Sept. 23: MWRD’s “Last Blast” event at the Thornton Reservoir

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners  cordially invites you to celebrate a milestone in the completion of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, the “Last Blast,” which will mark the end of major excavation and beginning of final construction at Thornton Composite Reservoir.

This monumental occasion will take place on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Thornton Reservoir, GATE D, 17041 Indiana Avenue, Thornton, IL. Following the blast, a bus will take visitors into the reservoir.

The Thornton Composite Reservoir is an important part of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP), which is designed to improve water quality and prevent flooding caused by combined sewer overflows. TARP, also known as the “Deep Tunnel,” is a huge project that consists of over 100 miles of tunnels deep below the surface of the Chicago region and three reservoirs designed to capture and hold stormwater and combined sewage for treatment at water reclamation plants.

Thornton Composite Reservoir will be part of the Calumet TARP tunnel system and will have a capacity of 7.9 billion gallons. It will protect 182,000 structures, serve 556,000 people in 14 communities throughout the south side of Chicago and south suburbs of Cook County, and will help protect water quality in the Calumet Rivers and Calumet-Sag Channel.

The reservoir is being excavated by Hanson Material Services, and their work is almost complete. On September 23, 2013, a  final blast will be set off, which will remove the last 36,000 tons of rock from the southwest corner of the reservoir. Once excavation is complete, the MWRD will finish work on connecting tunnels and final construction in order to have the reservoir operational on schedule in 2015.  Click Last Blast Invitation_web to download more information and a map.

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