Cahokia Heights

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District is supporting the community of Cahokia Heights, Illinois, with project and technical assistance under two separate authorities in two specific areas of the community.    

Project Assistance Description: Wastewater Infrastructure Assistance

Wastewater infrastructure assistance is being pursued under the Section 219 Environmental Infrastructure Assistance Program under the Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois Authority to support a potential construction projects in Cahokia Heights. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided $25,000 in Federal funding to scope and document the initial wastewater infrastructure assistance project in a Letter Report. The Letter Report defines the scope of Federal construction assistance, describes the environmental compliance requirements for the proposed work, serves as the basis for allowing USACE to enter into a Project Partnership Agreement with the city, and establishes the implementation responsibilities between USACE and the city. 

In this Letter Report and Agreement, USACE proposes to provide Federal construction assistance to the City of Cahokia Heights for the rehabilitation of a section of sanitary trunk sewer, including cleaning, camera inspection, and installation of cast-in-place pipe, (aka “slip lining”) of the largest, deepest, and most downstream sections of the main sanitary sewer trunkline.   

The purpose of the project is to assist this economically disadvantaged community with much needed wastewater infrastructure improvements. Cracks, settling and other disturbances that develop over time deteriorate sanitary sewer pipelines and other conveyance structures that comprise wastewater collection systems.

These deteriorating conditions increase the amount of inflow and infiltration entering the system, especially during periods of wet weather. Increased I/I levels create an additional hydraulic load on the system and thereby decrease its overall capacity, resulting in backups into homes and overflows into receiving waters. This bypass of untreated wastewater, known as a Sanitary Sewer Overflow, adversely affect human health as well as impair the usage and degrade the water quality in receiving waters, which is the case for the City and is subject to an USEPA Region 5 Administrative Order on Consent dated August 21, 2021. 

The Project is a critical part of the sanitary sewer infrastructure. This trunkline has experienced failures over recent years and conventional open excavation repairs to these failures are very problematic in that they require large amounts of care of flow (i.e. bypass pumping), dewatering of groundwaters, and present potential safety issues within close proximity to major highways and streets as mentioned above. Therefore, the requested assistance would involve a trenchless sewer rehabilitation involving cured-In-Place Pipe lining that corrects pipe deficiencies (cracks and breaks), restores structural stability, and ensures long-term reliability of this main conduit for wastewater transport.

The Sanitary Sewer Trunkline Project would initiate near the intersection of Jerome Lane and Mousette Lane and continue in a southwesterly direction towards the Levin Drive Sanitary Pump Station. The project is generally located within major city collector streets, including Jerome Lane, Range Lane, East 5th Street, Water Street, and Levin Drive. This portion of the trunkline also intersects and crosses under major transportation features, including state highways (IL Rt. 157 and IL Rt. 3) and a major regional railroad (Union Pacific Rail Road). Repairs of sewer failures on the trunkline in these areas are extremely expensive and problematic for local and regional logistics systems.

USACE submitted a budget package to request Fiscal Year 2023 Federal funding for implementation of the proposed project, which was supported by Senator Durbin through the Community Directed Funding process for FY23 Appropriation. USACE has received a $3.5M allocation of Federal funding via the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Bill for implementation of the proposed project.   

The Letter Report was approved in October 2022 and the Project Partnership Agreement with the City in May 2023.

  • December 2022: FY23 Omnibus included $3.5M in Federal funding for project construction
  • February – April 2023: Coordination of Agreement with City; Review by higher Major Subordinate Command for Approval to Execute Agreement
  • May 2023: Execute Project Partnership Agreement with City
  • February 2024: Contract Award
  • March 2024: Construction Start

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Technical Assistance: Flood Hazard Analysis

USACE is also providing technical assistance at no cost to the cities of Cahokia Heights and East St. Louis, Illinois, to conduct a Flood Hazard Analysis in the Canal 1 Watershed. The project is funded under the USACE Flood Plain Management Services program and is authorized by Section 206 of the 1960 Flood Control Act (P.L. 86-645), as amended. The program allows USACE to conduct small, conceptual studies for local communities with the objective of fostering public understanding of the options available to manage flood hazards and to promote prudent use and management of the nation's floodplains.

The scope of work for this project is to evaluate the flood prone areas within the defined project area found in the figure below, conduct engineering analysis, provide recommendations and conceptual cost estimate for features or improvements recommended to alleviate flooding. The project schedule initiates with hydrology and hydraulic analysis in mid-July 2022 and is anticipated to be complete within 12 months, culminating in final report with recommendation to the cities of Cahokia Heights and East St. Louis.   

The project area locally referred to as Ping Pong is bordered by Illinois Route 157, Interstate 255, St. Clair Avenue, and Lake Drive in the municipalities of Cahokia Heights and East St. Louis. 

Hydrology and Hydraulic analysis will evaluate the former north Centreville area that is suffering from surface drainage issues, clogged and collapsed culverts and sanitary sewer surcharging. The project area is a flat low lying area accepting runoff from bluffs to the east. An illustration denoting the project area watersheds is shown below. Also shown are the adjacent watersheds for the lower Frank Holton State Park and Schoenberger Creek. The Metro East Sanitary District and City of Cahokia Heights have undertaken cleanout of Canal 1, as well as a segment of Steiger Ditch, in late summer 2021. It is evident through time lapsed aerial photos that standing water remains in the ditches and becomes more prevalent over time. This is a sign of continued sediment deposition and channel aggradation. 

Within the project area, the City of East St. Louis (Parkside) Pump Station takes water east by way of a pump station directly into Harding Ditch. Area residents participating in the Prairie Du Pont Watershed Study being undertaken by Heartlands Conservancy have revealed that the entire area north of State Street and south of St. Clair Avenue is subject to flooding complaints by residents who live in the Terrace Subdivision. East St. Louis City officials and their civil engineer have informed that the Parkside Pump Station is not operating at full capacity and needs analysis to understand what is preventing the pumps from operating at full capacity. Local officials anticipate reduced future flood risk in Terrace Subdivision if the challenges of Parkside pump station are identified and addressed. 

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Contact Information

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District
Programs & Project Management

1222 Spruce Street
St. Louis, MO 63103-2833
(314) 331-8012