Chicago breaks ground on $55 million flood protection project

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CHICAGO -- You may remember the devastating floods that hit many areas of Illinois in the spring of 2013, and there was another catastrophic flood five years earlier. Both hit a North Side neighborhood particularly hard -- and today, the city unveiled a major infrastructure project to protect those residents.

In April 2013, nearly six inches of rain fell in 24 hours. Thousands of people evacuated their Albany Park homes, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the city of Chicago.

Today, the city broke ground on a new $55 million storm water tunnel project that will protect the vulnerable area along the Chicago River from future flooding.

The tunnel will begin at Foster Avenue north of Eugene Field Park and extend east, letting out at River Park into the north shore channel. The tunnel will be 18 feet wide, about a mile long, and be buried 150 feet underground.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District are picking up a majority of the tab.

One-fourth of the funding is coming from the federal level -- a HUD community development block grant.

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