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What is That Noise?

What is That Noise?

(Deep Tunnel Project and the Thornton Quarry)
There are two separate sources of blasting in the area: mining of the Thornton Quarry and the construction of the Deep Tunnel Project.

Quarry Blasting:
The world's largest limestone quarry is located in the neighboring Village of Thornton. Material Service Corporation conducts the blasting at the Thornton Quarry and is monitored carefully by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. There are legal limits to the frequency and size of each blast. In most cases, your home will not be damaged. If you believe, however, that your home has been damaged by quarry blasting, your initial inquiry should be directed to Material Service Corporation at 708-877-6540. If you are unable to resolve your concern with Material Service Corporation, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources/OMM
Blasting & Explosives Division
524 South Second St., Springfield, IL 62701-1787
Phone: 217-782-9976   Fax: 217-524-4819   TDD: 217-524-4626

Deep Tunnel Project and Transitional Reservoir:
To assist the Chicago area with flood prevention, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, in conjunction with the United States Soil Conservation Service, and state and local municipalities, has launched a 2-pronged effort: The Deep Tunnel Project, which addresses sewer back-up issues and The Transitional Reservoir, to curtail over-bank flooding and sewer back-up.
These projects consist of underground tunnels 150 to 300 feet totaling 109 miles throughout Chicagoland. You may have seen, or perhaps felt, the construction taking place on this project. The Transitional Reservoir project directs the overflows of Thorn Creek, which eventually flows into the Little Calumet River, into a massive reservoir. After the storm, the water is pumped through other tunnels to the District’s wastewater treatment plant.
South Holland has several combined sewers, where storm water and sewage flow into the same sewer. These sewer systems are designed to handle about 2 billion gallons of water a day, but a rainstorm leaving just 1 inch of rain forces the system into overload.
The result? Sewer back-up. The Deep Tunnel Project, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will allow the overloaded sewers to dump into huge drop shafts that will carry the contents to the Thornton Quarry. Eventually it will be pumped to the District’s wastewater treatment facility.
This 2-pronged project is truly a “Wonder of the World,” as international engineering experts visit to study these projects.

Storm Warning Sirens
There are rooftop sirens at both South Holland Fire Stations. The sirens at both locations are used to indicate a tornado warning. The signals are tested on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:30am.
The sirens are activated whenever a tornado warning is issued within 20 miles or a funnel cloud has been seen in the area. Once the Tornado Warning has been issued, the sirens will activate for three minutes followed by silence for seven minutes. This activation cycle will continue until the weather warning is cancelled. When the weather warning has been cancelled, the sirens will no longer activate.

Railroad Issues
Two of the countries major rail lines, UP (Union Pacific) and the CNIC (Canadian National/Illinois Central), merge right here in South Holland, in one of the busiest interlockers in the country. This is located near the intersection of South Park and 168th street, behind the Spiekhout Heating building. The UP arrives from the southern part of the country, the CNIC arrives from the eastern part of the country, both feeding into the South Holland/Dolton Yard Center, one of the busiest rail yards in the country.
The interlocker and the enormous volume of freight traffic coming into and departing from the Chicago region have cause two issues here in South Holland; blocked crossings and stopped trains idling near homes.
The Village monitors blocked crossings carefully. Many times, the reason for the lengthy blocking of a crossing is due to congestion in the rail yard. Per State and Federal rulings, the Village can no longer issue tickets to the railroads.
Trains may often be forced to park and wait for another train to clear the interlocker. Sometimes, the rail yard is congested so trains must wait to enter. This can result in noise, exhaust, and vibration from the idling train engines. While municipalities have no authority in this regard, the railroad management has been willing to work with the Village to reduce the occurrences of parked trains and the length of time a train is parked when it is necessary. Significant progress has been made. The Village communicates regularly with the railroad management in an ongoing effort to improve the situation.
Solving the congestion of freight train traffic for the Chicago region is the only real solution to our problems. Canadian National's acquisition of the EJ&E railroad will greatly reduce the train traffic in South Holland over the next few years.

Flood Rebate Program
Some areas of South Holland experience flooding. In 1990, the Village prepared a Floodplain Management Plan. This plan, adopted in May 1994, provides for the financial assistance program outlined here to assist residents who take measures to reduce the damage caused by flooding.
This program offers residents a 25% rebate for flood control projects they undertake such as:

  • Installation of overhead sewers
  • Repair of foundation cracks
  • Installation of drain tiles
  • Elevation of landscaping for improved drainage
The maximum rebate is $2500.00 Residents have completed more than 400 flood-proofing projects through the use of this program. The average rebate per project has been approximately $500.00. Interested residents are encouraged to call Brian Smith, Flood Assistance Coordinator, at 210-2915 for further details.
Please call before beginning any projects. A short application and two bid proposals are required.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Community Rating System (CRS), awards community’s points for the activities they undertake to address flooding problems. Ratings are then given based on the community’s points. In October of 2002, FEMA awarded the prestigious Class 5 rating to South Holland, one of only three communities in the entire Midwest to receive that high of a rating.
Because of this Class 5 rating, residents’ insurance premiums are reduced by 25% off the standard policy rates, which averages a savings of $142 per household, the highest average savings for any community in the nation.

Village of South Holland  -  16226 Wausau Avenue  -  South Holland, Illinois 60473  -  708-210-2900
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