Work on the Isabella sewer improvement project will have to be delayed until next year, due to the recent severe weather, Mount Prospect Public Works Director Sean Dorsey told the village board this week.
The work will complete the second and final public sector improvements identified in the village's 2011 Comprehensive Flood Study. It will construct a relief sewer system with 6,600 lineal feet of sewer to provide 25-year protection for about 800 single-family homes.
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Funding for the work came from a $10 million loan.
Dorsey said the project involves installing a "spine" relief sewer, in addition to the sewer that is already in the Isabella area, which extends from Rand Road northwest of Central Road west past Route 83 almost to the Prospect High School area, with fingers that extend north and south.
The aim is to collect and store water temporarily during storms, before discharging it into an Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago interceptor system and/or the Deep Tunnel, he said.
Last fall, village staff proposed completing the improvements during the 2014 construction season as a single, large project, as opposed to phasing it in.
The village board agreed, authorizing an engineering contract calling for project design over the winter and sending it out for bid in the spring of 2014, with improvements expected to be complete by November.
However, the heavy and consistent snow cover this past winter prevented timely completion of the survey work and field data necessary to complete the bid documents, meaning the project is not ready for bidding.
"The issue wasn't so much the temperature, although it did play a role a little bit," Dorsey said. "The larger issue was snow cover. We simply had so much snow covering the ground, that we couldn't complete the survey work that was necessary to do the design."
As a consequence, he said, the design is not complete.
Dorsey told the board's committee of the whole on Tuesday that the window of opportunity for bid has been missed to bid and construct the project during the 2014 construction season.
Although the village has the option of a phased approach, with some of the work being done this year and the remainder for 2014, Dorsey said the staff prefers doing it all in 2015.
"There are certain economies of scale, if you will, if it is kept together as a larger project," he said. Phasing would also likely mean higher costs for construction and engineering.
Dorsey recommended the village modify the schedule so that construction can start in March 2015.
Trustee A. John Korn, who lives in the Isabella area, said he spoke with some of the engineers who were on site during the severest of the cold weather.
"These guys were out there. It's not that they were not trying. They were trying," he said. "They were doing some things and freezing, for the most part, as far as I was concerned."