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Cedar Lake Restoration Plan Advances

Posted on July 7, 2016

By Mary Wilds,

It’s been a long time coming, but the town actually has a schedule in place for the planned eco-restoration of Cedar Lake.

The Town Council listened to a public review, complete with supporting materials, during a recent meeting.

Project Engineer Imad N. Samara, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, gave a visual presentation backed up by hand-outs on the project, the highlight of which was a schedule during which each step would be completed.

“We’re in a better (situation) than in the past,” said Samara, alluding to the fact that the federal government has given a nod to accepting what is called the Locally Preferred Plan, meaning that Cedar Lake was able to go ahead and have a plan drawn up. A feasibility study report should be approved next spring, and contracts could be awarded as early as summer of 2018.

The actual implementation of the restoration process should finish in the fall of 2020.

This project, years in the making, is meant as a restoration of the 781-acre glacially-formed Cedar Lake: a re-establishment of old habitat that would make the lake hospitable to native aquatic species again.

Tentatively, the engineers have settled on five methods of eco-restoration, including sediment removal, nutrient recycling and dilution/flushing. Techniques to make this happen include the mechanical dredging of 163 acres of the lake bottom and the treating of 400 acres of it with alum.

The project would also restore the lake’s connection to Founder’s Creek, its historic tributary.

“It’s very exciting to see the project at this stage,” said Town Council President Randy Niemeyer. Both federal and town officials acknowledged that the process will not be cheap. Some $10 million in federal dollars will be available, meaning that Cedar Lake will have to find a way to pick up the rest: $11.34 million.

Niemeyer and other town officials have already indicated they are hoping to partner with private concerns while coming up with the local portion.


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