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updated: 7/12/2011 10:09 PM

First phase of RiverEdge Park to cost Aurora $1.2 M

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The first phase of RiverEdge Park construction is guaranteed to cost the city of Aurora no more than $1,255,360 under a price ceiling agreement the city council approved Tuesday.

And after years of planning, construction on the park's Fox River shoreline site is set to begin with a groundbreaking ceremony Friday said Terry Bohr, president of R.C. Wegman Construction Co., the Aurora firm hired to manage the park's construction for a fee of 9.85 percent of the park's total cost.

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R.C. Wegman proposed the maximum cost of just more than $1.25 million after receiving bids for the work to be completed in the first phase, which includes restoration of Blues Island and adjacent Fox River shorelines and grading of the future site of the Music Garden east of the river, according to a memo from Stephane Phifer, Aurora's planning and zoning director. The island will be cleared with a prescribed burn scheduled for Sept. 19 and restored with native plants and erosion control measures. Contractors will prepare the base of the Music Garden site, install permanent fences where the park borders private properties and temporary fences around the entire area.

But all this work -- and its price tag -- still is the beginning of the park construction process, which must be complete by Feb. 28, 2013, according to an $8 million state grant the city received for park construction. Bohr said work on the park will be divided into at least three phases and possibly a fourth. The company is awaiting bids for the second phase of work, which includes site work and structures such as a performance stage for the park's Music Garden.

Phifer said the second phase is expected to be the most costly of all the piece s that add up to the park's estimated $17.4 million cost. The park's actual cost will be determined as the city council approves the guaranteed maximum price for each phase of work and partly will be paid with $13 million in grants from the state, the Fox Valley Park District, the Kane County Forest Preserve District and the Dunham Fund.

About $4.7 million in city money will fund the rest of the park's costs. The city already paid $4.2 million for land acquisition, design and engineering and power line burial.

The price ceiling for the second construction phase of RiverEdge Park work is expected to be before the city council Aug. 23.

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