Two infrastructure projects move forward

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By Robert J. Lifka

Contributing Reporter

The Forest Park Village Council voted 5-0, March 11, to award contracts for two infrastructure projects to two companies that performed similar work last year.

The contract to replace the alley in the 900 block between Marengo and Elgin avenues with a "green" alley was awarded to J. Nardulli Concrete Inc. of Cicero and the contract to replace water mains under the 400 and 500 blocks of Beloit Avenue and the 1500 block of Marengo Avenue, plus resurfacing those streets and the 600 block of Beloit and the 1400 block of Marengo was awarded to Uno Construction Co. Inc. of Downers Grove. Both were the low bidders for the projects as they both were for similar infrastructure projects in 2018.

J. Nardulli Concrete's bid for the alley project was $312,422.50, which was $7,359 higher than the engineer's estimate of $305,063.50. However, Uno Construction's bid for the water main replacement and street resurfacing project was $1,253,441.76, which was $224,225.90 lower than the engineer's estimate of $1,477,637.61.

Six companies submitted bids for the alley project with the high bid coming in at $460,235. Seven companies submitted bids for the water main replacement and street resurfacing project with the high bid at $1,607,537.25.

The Village Council authorized bids on Feb. 11 and bids were opened Feb. 27.

Village Administrator Tim Gillian said the alley project is expected to take 4-6 weeks and the water main replacement and street resurfacing project 2-3 months. He expects start dates for the projects to be determined at construction meetings this week. He previously said he hoped both projects would start in the spring.

A grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) will cover $123,830 of the total cost for the green alley with the remainder coming from the Village Improvement Program (VIP) fund. The VIP fund is a debt service fund committed to public infrastructure improvements. 

The cost of the water main replacement and street resurfacing project will be split between the VIP fund and the water fund. 

When the alley is replaced, the center 6 feet will consist of permeable pavers to help stop storm water runoff; the rest will be concrete. In addition, the alley will have perforated catch basins to maximize storm water infiltration into the ground. Together the green infrastructure installations will provide a total design retention capacity of 28,841 gallons of storm water per rain event.

The green alley will be the third in the village, joining the 500 block alley between Thomas and Beloit avenues and the 100 block alley between Harlem and Elgin avenues. 

Gillian indicated the cost of a green alley is $100,000 higher than the cost of a standard concrete alley, which is preventing the village from doing more.

Under an intergovernmental agreement between the village and the MWRD, Forest Park officials will provide and maintain signage describing the project as a joint effort between the village and the water reclamation district "to promote the use of green infrastructure as an effective means of storm water management."

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