The daylighting of Dunes Creek at Indiana Dunes State Park—already the
recipient of numerous engineering awards—will move into Phase II on Thursday
to repair damage sustained during the flooding of September 2008.
According to a statement released on Tuesday by the Indiana Department of
Natural Resources, the project will be funded by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is providing $1,401,602 in federal
stimulus funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also providing
The bid price is $2,047,000.
In Phase I of the daylighting, the Dunes Creek stream channel and wetland
were restored to their original location after the removal of a portion of
parking lot beneath which the creek had been diverted into a pipe.
“Daylighting” is an industry term for improving water quality by reducing
stormwater runoff, the statement said. “The process involves taking a stream
that has been routed through a culvert and restoring it to an open channel,
thereby exposing it to natural light, restoring the stream’s natural
Phase I of the project won the Governor’s Award for Environmental
Excellence, the Chicago Wilderness/EPA Conserva-tion and Native Landscaping
Award, and the Association of Conservation Engineers 2007 Award.
Phase II of the project became necessary when a 20,000-square foot portion
of the Pavilion’s parking lot collapsed after 16 inches of rain over four
days in September 2008 flooded the area. On completion, Dunes Creek will run
along the east edge of the new Pavilion parking lot. Troyer is the project
designer; Gariup, the contractor. Both worked on Phase I of the project.
“The Dunes Creek project is a great example of how restoration can support
local jobs and improve the environment,” said Jim Balsiger, acting
administrator of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. “This project
helps restore the natural connection between a vast watershed and Lake
Michigan. This will help improve the lake’s water quality, provide habitat
for diverse species, improve flood protection, and improve an important park
for the public’s enjoyment.”
As part of the project, a live camera—“Dunes Creek Recovery Cam”—will be
installed on the Pavilion roof to upload images to the web every 15 minutes.
Those images will be available to the public next week at NOAA.gov
On completion, the entire project will be available on the website in
time-lapse. Completion is scheduled for July 1, 2010. Due to the location of
the construction area, there will be no sledding at Indiana Dunes this
winter. Devil’s Slide will re-open for sledding during the winter of
2010-11. The west side of the Pavilion parking lot will remain open this