The water is gone and debris mostly cleared away, but fears that another flood like the one on labor day may return continue to linger throughout Rockford. So six months later, Rockford Public Works leaders want to relocate part of Keith Creek, which will help lower flood waters upstream of Kishwaukee and Lewis Streets.
"Instead of a narrow boxy creek you'd see a wide flood plain that the creek could come out of it's banks easily if necessary and at certain times flood this park rather than this lady's house," Brian Eber, of Public Works.
The creek would move about a block away, to Kishwaukee and Tenth Avenue. This would eliminate the two 90-degree angles obstructing the Creek's flow. Also, at that point a new bridge will be built. So this outdated one would be torn down. Other plans include widening Kishwaukee Street and adding a turn lane near Behr Joseph and Sons. But plans like these take lots of cash, prompting public works to rely on the approval of the upcoming roads referendum.
"Without doing improvements to those areas or identifying deficiencies your house too could be flooded you could lose everything you have valuable," Eber says.
The project would cost about $4.5 million dollars which Public Works leads say would take no longer than two years to complete. So with a current budget of $68,000, public works says it needs the referendum to get the job done.
Since Kishwaukee Street would be widened, there's a bunch of properties that would need to be torn down. The city has already acquired a few and plans on buying out a few more.
Once this project is completed, there are plans to add new soccer fields at the 10th Avenue park. There could also be an entertainment pavilion and pedestrian walkway. These are all efforts to revitalize the area.