Dixon council moves forward with Galena Avenue water main project

DIXON – The city finalized funding for the long-anticipated project to replace part of the water main on South Galena Avenue.

Replacing the main has been a goal for more than 5 years when there was a major break in the line, and emergency repairs tied up the city’s busiest thoroughfare in July 2016.

In the coming weeks, work will start on replacing the main from Second to Fourth streets. The water department has been replacing the water main on West Second Street, and then a contractor will take over work when they reach Galena Avenue.

The project will consist of replacing the main and doing some directional boring at the intersection of First Street and South Galena Avenue, as well as at Second Street. Crews will be doing partial lane closures so traffic will still be moving in both directions.

In May, the City Council approved a contract of around $1 million for Martin & Company Excavating to do the work.

The project will be funded by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s revolving loan program, and the city signed off on a $1.14 million loan earlier this week. The loan program offers low interest rates and loan forgiveness. The city is expected to have $400,000 in loan forgiveness for this project, Public Works Director Matt Heckman said.

“That’s the foundation for which this program is built upon,” Heckman said.

Heckman said there have been a few issues with scheduling for water projects, including subcontractor availability and acquiring parts because of the pandemic, but work will be completed before the end of the year.

“Things are not unfolding as rapidly as we would like, so we’ll keep working on those issues,” he said.

Water Department Manager Matt Huyett said it’s one of five projects in which the city will be using EPA loans. The council approved a plan last year for the loans to fund around $11 million in projects across the next five years, but the council will need to approve individual ordinances when the projects materialize.

“This is the first leg in our 5-year plan we sent to the EPA,” Huyett said. “Hopefully if all goes well, you’ll see four more of these come through in the next few years.”

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.