SYCAMORE – Several road improvement and water main projects throughout the city of Sycamore will soon become a reality, after the Sycamore City Council this week approved a $2.5 million contractor ahead of the construction.
The Sycamore City Council voted, 6-0, during its Monday meeting to approve the $2,580,254.65 bid to DeKalb-based Elliott & Wood, Inc. for the projects slated for this year. First Ward Alderman Josh Huseman and Second Ward Alderman Pete Paulsen were absent from the meeting.
Sycamore City Engineer Mark Bushnell said the project was part of the city’s 2019 water master plan and design for this particular project began about a year ago. He said during the project recently went to bid and “the goal is to start it probably within the next month.”
“Along the way, with inflation and with supply chain issues, we were worried about keeping the project on budget,” Bushnell said.
Bushnell said the bid contained two alternates – one for Governor Street and the other for the far west block of Exchange Street. He said the base bid was sent out with the two alternates and Elliott & Wood ended up being under the design engineer’s total cost estimate.
“So the recommendation is to complete the base bid and alternate one, which is Governors Street, and then leave Exchange Street for the future,” Bushnell said. “We can complete that with another water main project or city crews can do that at a time when we could get better pricing on it.”
Bushnell said city staff also is asking for the council’s blessing for a 5% contingency in case workers run into any underground issues.
“We would bring any of those change orders back if it were to go over that price,” Bushnell said. “We just want the ability to complete those in the field and have the construction keep on going without having to come to a city council meeting and slow the project.”
The 2022 road and water main projects first came to council discussion in January. Street maintenance budgeting included a water main replacement project, according to city documents.
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List of planned projects
The largest 2022 project will include microsurfacing the city’s Landahl and Townsend Woods subdivisions.
The process involves laying a thin, protective seal coat, made of asphalt and minerals, over the roads to extend road life between four to seven years. It’s often a cost-savings measure used for minor crack or wear and tear instead of resurfacing, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Sidewalks and ramps in the subdivision also will be replaced to correct defects and meet new Illinois Department of Transportation and Americans with Disabilities Standards, according to city documents.
In the summer, maintenance is expected on Birchwood Lane, Home Street, West Ottawa Street, Mediterranean Drive and an alley west of Main Street downtown.
The surface of Exchange Street from Walnut Street to Governor and Sabin streets, will be overlayed, with base repair, reconstruction and curb or sidewalk removal or replacement as needed. Costs for those three specific street projects will be funded through COVID-19 relief grants, according to city documents.
Sabine Street from Illinois Route 64 to Sycamore Street, along with Governor Street from Route 64 to Exchange Street, also will under surface repair and curb and sidewalk replacement.
Exchange, Sabine and Governor street projects are part of the city’s watermain overhaul plan for 2022, documents show.
The following roads also will undergo surface removal or overlay, base repair and sidewalk or curb replacement in 2022: Birchwood Lane from Fair Street to its dead end; Home Street from Walnut to Lincoln street; West Ottawa Street from Sacramento Street to Park Avenue; Mediterranean Drive from Mercantile to Bethany roads; and the alley west of Main Street from Elm to High streets.
Daily Chronicle news reporter Shane Taylor contributed to this story.