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updated: 11/21/2013 11:10 AM

Mount Prospect hires engineer for flood control work

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Mount Prospect is sticking to the tried and true in hiring an engineer to design the second phase of its multimillion dollar flood control project.

The village board this week hired Downers Grove-based Burns & McDonnell to provide both design engineering and bidding assistance, at a cost not to exceed $407,540.

The firm has vast experience with the village, including authoring the flood study containing the recommendations that led to the current flood control projects, and design and construction engineering services for most of the first phase.

Public Works Director Sean Dorsey pointed out that the firm is intimately familiar with the village's sewer systems, drainage patterns and the flooding problems experienced by Mount Prospect residents.

"It is the opinion of staff that they are perhaps uniquely qualified to perform this work based on their experience in this particular problem and at this particular time," Dorsey said.

The second phase is expected to cost $10 million, with the money coming from general obligation bonds. It involves the construction of a relief sewer in the Isabella Street area. Outlining the work, Dorsey said 6,600 linear feet of sewer ranging in size from 15 inches to 96 inches in diameter will be installed, providing the approximately 800 single-family homes with protection against 25-year flood events.

Dorsey said the village aims to perform and complete the work in 2014. Since time is of the essence, he said hiring Burns & McDonnell would enable the project to get through the design phase as quickly as possible.

Dorsey said the first phase of the improvements, which cost $2.5 million, is essentially complete. The first phase focused on SeeGwun Avenue, NaWaTa Avenue, Lawrence Lane, Hatlen Avenue, Hatlen Court, Busse Road, Michael Street, Verde Drive, Bonita Avenue and Audrey Lane. In addition, it involved ditch regrading and culvert replacement work in the Golfview Estates subdivision.

During the discussion the village board, noting the firm's experience, wondered whether it would be better to put it on retainer rather than repeatedly rebidding work for the firm to perform.

Mayor Arlene Juracek, a former executive with ComEd, noted that the utility had this type of arrangement with one contractor in particular.

Trustee Steven Polit suggested that the firm could already have been doing the work if they were under contract.

But Juracek also pointed out some of the potential drawbacks, such as getting so comfortable with the firm that it would be overused.

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