Oswego set to pay ComEd $1.1M to move power lines to make way for roundabout at Wolf’s Crossing, Harvey roads

The Illinois Department of Transportation is doing a preliminary engineering and environmental study of state Route 40 and Science Ridge Road north of Sterling, likely to construct a roundabout to alleviate safety concerns.

Utility lines need to be moved out of the way before construction can start on a proposed traffic roundabout on Wolf’s Crossing Road at Harvey Road in Oswego.

The Village Board is set to consider a resolution during their next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13, authorizing the payment of $1,169,758 to ComEd to bury existing overhead power lines at the intersection.

In a memo, Jennifer Hughes, the village’s engineer and director of public works, noted the burying of the power lines has been a planned component of the village’s plan to improve Wolf’s Crossing Road.

Hughes said the estimated $1,169,758 project cost is based upon a review of the existing facilities by the village’s consultant on the project.

“ComEd told (village) staff that the estimate is intentionally high to anticipate unforeseen circumstances that could arise during the relocation. They do not want to have to return to the customer (i.e. the village) to request additional funds after the work is completed. Any excess payment will be refunded to the village,” Hughes said.

Hughes said an optional way to pay for the project would be to have ComEd attach a per kilowatt-hour charge onto the monthly bills of all of its customers within municipal boundaries. However, she said village staff believes the project would be simpler if paid directly by the village.

Contractor bids for the roundabout project are currently scheduled to be opened Jan. 20 with construction to begin later in the new year.

In a related matter, the Village Board will also consider a staff recommendation to hire the Thomas Engineering Group, LLC at a cost of $753,368 for engineering assistance on the roundabout project.

Hughes noted in a separate memo the Thomas Engineering Group was one of seven firms that submitted proposals for the engineering assistance contract.