Work to begin removing lead contamination from the soil at Sportsman's Park near downtown Naperville is set to begin in early September under a $490,457 contract the park district board approved.
The contract with Martam Construction is for the first of two phases of work to clean up remnants of lead pellets used at the park's three trapshooting ranges until the pellets were banned in 1998.
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The company will remove traces of lead found outside the park's eastern fence line before a second phase of work next spring will focus on the larger area inside the fencing. The work also will include removal of invasive plants and addition of new landscaping and a berm at the property at West Street and Martin Avenue just north of the Community Garden Plots.
Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury said the first phase of work will begin early next month after the Jaycees' Last Fling concludes. He said it should be finished this year so the second phase can begin next spring.
Shooting ranges at the park have been fenced off since last year, when testing confirmed suspicions that the site, which has been used for shooting since roughly 1948, was contaminated with lead. Traces of lead also were found outside the fence line, in an area already deemed safe by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Although the Illinois EPA has issued a letter stating no further remediation is necessary outside the fencing, McGury said the park district wants all "hot spots" of lead discovered in a report by Shaw Environmental Inc. to be removed.
According to the Illinois EPA, the first phase of remediation includes treating the soil with a special chemical to prevent any lead from leaching deeper into the ground, and then removing the top 18 inches and taking it to an appropriate landfill. McGury said Martam Construction will target areas where contamination was found without bulldozing the entire area.
The $490,457 contract with Martam is less than the $500,000 the park district budgeted for the first phase of remediation at Sportsman's Park.
The park includes lighted trap shooting fields, a clubhouse and a pond that now is marked with signs saying "no fishing." McGury said once both phases of remediation are complete, the park's trails and fishing areas will be more accessible to the public.