Lincoln Yards North Site Remediation Project Receives Two Awards

April 9, 2021


The Lincoln Yards North Site Remediation project has been recognized by ACEC-IL receiving both an Engineering Excellence Special Achievement Award and Judges Choice Award in the Environmental category.

Lincoln Yards is a large‐scale, mixed‐use redevelopment project along the North Branch of the Chicago River on a more than 50‐acre swath of previous industrial properties between Chicago’s Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods in the North Branch Corridor. Lincoln Yards North represents about one‐half of the redevelopment project and is located on a land assembly with an industrial legacy of over 100 years. This legacy included the former A. Finkl & Sons steel mill, a former Standard Oil petroleum depot, General Lakin Corporation tire recycling facility and a former Sims Metal Management scrap yard which meant the site was in need of environmental cleanup to address contaminant risks to site users and the Chicago River.

Sterling Bay hired V3 to serve as the environmental consultant to execute an environmental remediation at Lincoln yards North. The remediation included removal of 28 underground storage tanks ranging from 500 to 125,000 gallons, recovery and disposal of 200,000 gallons of free oils and impacted water, 25,000 tons of soil removal and disposal, and various in‐situ treatments.

V3 provided a risk‐based remediation approach that demonstrated how close coordination with master planning and site preparation design can result in numerous benefits for the owner and the overall community. This coordinated approach focused valuable resources on targeted efforts resulting in schedule and cost efficiencies, reducing environmental risks to site visitors and the river, lowering risks during future construction and increasing the value of the real estate. During outreach and community planning, it was clear that the public perceived the site to be exceptionally contaminated and a risk to the community and the river. While most of the remediation effort is not visible, once the Lincoln Yards North development is opened, the community will receive a safe place to live, engage local businesses, and access new parks and open space along the Chicago River…a transformed site that is no longer a risk to the community or the aquatic health of the river.

Funding a project like this with many variables can also be a challenge. To address this, V3 provided Sterling Bay with ASTM ‘Expected Value’ estimates to set a remediation budget prior to site acquisition. As risk assessment and remediation planning progressed, V3’s revised estimates allowed Sterling Bay to reduce the budget and release remediation reserves for other project needs. Ultimately, the project was delivered on time, $5.3M below the original preacquisition remediation budget and approximately $90,000 below the final revised budget established during remediation planning.