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Elmhurst moves forward with projects to reduce sewer backups

ELMHURST – The Elmhurst City Council approved three projects designed to reduce the recurrence of 78 percent of sewer backups reported from the July 2010 storm.

The approved Southwest Elmhurst Wet-Weather Control Facility projects total about $8.6 million and are intended to reduce sewer backups for about 2,300 homes.

Archon Construction Co., Inc. of Addison was the lowest bidder to install a force main that will run from the Saylor Avenue and Jackson Street lift station to a new storage tank at $2,971,900. Maxim Construction of Volo, Ill. bid the lowest to upgrade the pump station at Saylor Avenue and Jackson Street with a $2,766,006.80 offer. The same company was the lowest bidder for the 2-million gallon prestressed concrete storage tank, which will go in at the wastewater treatment plant for $2,893,860.43.

The projects will be paid for with a $9 million low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and $1.1 million budgeted for wastewater projects.

After the initial engineering estimates were submitted in July, additional design work continued and poor soil conditions created additional costs. Low strength soils under the proposed storage tank necessitated a deep foundation system. Soils slated for excavation require disposal in a non-special waste land fill. These costs exceeded the original budget for the project by about $580,000.

"They're all things you wouldn't have seen up front," said Jim Kennedy, 6th Ward Alderman and Public Works and Buildings Committee chairman, at a recent committee meeting.

To cover the additional costs, city staff recommended postponing a $350,000 water meter replacement project, which was included in this year's budget, but isn't prepared for implementation in 2014 anyway.

Staff also suggested deferring a portion of the water main replacement project that only requires reinforcement and could wait until next year. That would save another $151,000.

Another suggestion was bidding out about 90 percent of the sanitary sewer lining project and saving 10 percent for next year, a savings of $80,000.

Projects are expected to be completed this fall.

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