By Bob Balgemann

Village officials are proceeding with some work tied to such 2022 projects as improvements to Harlem Road, between Illinois 251 (North Second Street) and Amber Drive, adjacent to Schnucks grocery.

One of the early steps that are part of this ongoing Build Machesney Program is evaluating the existing storm sewer system, which serves Harlem Road. That evaluation takes place through cleaning and televising the sewer system to be sure there are no hidden problems. If repairs are needed officials want to incorporate them into final plans for the overall improvement.

Work under the contract included cleaning and televising the storm sewer, as well as its inlets and manholes, along Harlem Road.

Bid documents were procured by six general contractors and two plan rooms.

Village Engineer Chris Dopkins noted in his report to the administration and finance committee (A&F) on Nov. 1 that two of the six contractors did not provide cleaning/televising services. “Those contractors procured bid documents to see if there was any excavation, sidewalk, paving, etc. included in the work,” he said.

Proposals were opened Oct. 27 and, unfortunately, he said only one contractor submitted a proposal for the project. “We reached out to the contractors who did not submit a proposal to find out their reasoning and they advised as following,” he said.

* Visu-Sewer, stated equipment needed was committed to other projects and they were concerned they would not be able to complete the Machesney Park work on time.

* Michels Corporation, current workload prevented them from being able to take on new work.

* Hoerr Corporation, distance from the project and current workload. They tend to provide proposals for projects that include pipe lining. Additionally, this contractor is located in Springfield and its focus is the central/southern Illinois marketplace.

Higher proposal

Engineer Dopkins continued by saying the only contractor submitting a proposal was National Power Rodding Corp., based in Chicago, in the amount of $207,334. That compared to the engineer’s opinion of probable constuction cost of $144,991.50.

Being that the contractor’s proposal was 142 percent higher than the engineering opinion, he said officials reached out to National Power to discuss a means to complete the project in a more cost-efficient manner. Doing that would still “provide the data we need to make reasonable decisions for the upcoming Harlem Road improvements,” he said.

While those discussions occurred the village added several weeks to the time allowed for proposals to be submitted, he said, “hoping to get more proposals, but we did not. This is a specialty kind of work. We don’t have contractors locally, or in the area, who do this kind of work.”

National Power subsequently provided a price to televise the storm sewer without cleaning. Further, the contractor indicated it would complete the fieldwork by the end of November, therefore greatly reducing the need for snow removal.

“While weather and field conditions will ultimately dictate the final cost of the clean and televise effort, the savings are approximately $66,000 if we were able to eliminate the cleaning of the large diameter pipe,” he said. “Additional savings of $10,000 can be realized if we are able to eliminate the snow removal cost.

“We do believe there is a reasonable opportunity to eliminate the cleaning effort for the larger diameter storm sewer as the sewer services a large tributary area and was further designed and constructed to reach scour velocity, which should not allow for the accumulation of a large amount of debris.

“Further, there is no prevalent evidence of clogging/obstructions within the system, as otherwise there would be flooding present during and after rainfall events.”

Deducting the cleaning of the 60 and 54-inch in diameter pipes would reduce the overall contract cost to $131,334, which Dopkins told A&F members was more in line with what engineers thought it should be.

The Harlem Road improvements are a $3-million project for which bids are proposed to be sought in March. The contract would be awarded in April with construction beginning early in May and continuing through September.

There was no discussion at the A&F committee meeting with members, in a unanimous voice vote, recommending approval of the engineer’s proposal. The item went to village board the same night where Resolution 61-R-21 was approved unanimously, along with six other proposals, under a single motion on the consent agenda.

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