By Bob Balgemann


Almost $2 million worth of road projects are moving ahead in the city, most of them downtown.

The big one is the reconstruction of Columbia Avenue and Aspen Court. So far, all of the sanitary sewer work has been done, with 95 percent of the water system improvements being finished.

Now, work has begun on the storm sewer upgrades. Once that’s done the contractor, Northern Illinois Service Company out of Rockford, will start the new pavement project.

Sometimes, the unexpected can occur once a project gets under way. Public Works Director Brent Anderson told the committee of the whole at its June 13 meeting that is what recently happened.

City records indicated there was a six-inch water main located in Walnut Street, west of Columbia. However, the contractor found two long services, one on each side of Walnut serving houses on each side.

In order to correct that situation, the contractor was told to install an additional 180 feet of eight-inch water main in Walnut, west of Columbia. The water department then would install new services in the right of way from the new eight-inch main to the existing services at the property line.

That work, he said, would add $10,000 to $15,000 to the project cost, which originally was $1.427 million.

On June 20, city aldermen voted 9-0 to approve the 2016 motor fuel tax street overlay program. There were two bids submitted with council awarding the contract to Rock Road Companies in Janesville, Wis., in the amount of $286,842.55. The other bid, of $299,746.45, came from William Charles Construction Co. in Loves Park.

The engineer’s cost estimate for this project was $401,158.50.

Major roads to be resurfaced are Appleton Road from Locust to Lincoln; Farmington Way from U.S. 20 to Logan; and South Main Street from Logan to the railroad tracks.

Residential streets on the list are Fifth Avenue from Sixth Street to Eighth Street; Eighth Avenue from Sixth to Seventh; 10th Avenue from Sixth to Ninth; Caswell Street from Pleasant to Locust; Nebraska Street from Pleasant to Locust; Conlin Court from Bonus to Taylor Ridge; East Menomonie from Gardner to Blaine; and Highland Street from East to Fremont.

Also June 20, city council approved awarding a low bid of $279,359.98 to Rock Road Companies for the Street Pavement Rehabilitation Project. Other quotes were submitted by William Charles Construction and Peter Baker and Son Company in Lake Bluff.

The engineer’s estimate was $424,942 and there is $500,000 in the city’s current budget for this work.

It was a bit warm in the council meeting room that night and as the meeting came to an end, Alderman Ron Brooks wondered what happened to the air conditioning system.

Mayor Mike Chamberlain explained the system had been set on a schedule so it would only work when someone, such as city council, was in the room. “The problem is it is not functioning as it was supposed to,” he said. “We’ll get it fixed.”




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