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posted: 5/28/2014 5:30 AM

Elk Grove to upgrade sewer infrastructure

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Elk Grove Village is embarking on a series of storm and sanitary sewer upgrades throughout town that will cost at least $38 million over the next four to five years.

The infrastructure work, aimed at fixing flooding problems in both industrial and residential areas, is the largest public works project in the village's history.

On Tuesday, the village board approved three construction contracts worth nearly $3 million that include removal of existing corrugated metal pipe culverts and replacement with precast concrete box culverts at three locations in the business park: Lunt Avenue; Brummel Avenue, Howard Street and Louis Avenue; and Lively Boulevard and Crossen Avenue.

In some cases, the aging culverts being replaced carry water from a tributary of Higgins Creek under roads.

They are among the first projects to be implemented as part of the infrastructure program, being funded by borrowing $38 million authorized by the village board in January 2013 in a general obligation bond issue.

And, said Village Manager Ray Rummel, the projects are first on the priority list because the current infrastructure at each location is among the worst in town.

While some village storm and sanitary sewer upgrades were completed last year, work begins this year in earnest. Some $7.5 million in upgrades are planned in 2014 alone, according to Mayor Craig Johnson.

The three contracts approved Tuesday by the village board with Swallow Construction Corp. of Downers Grove represent low bid prices, though they are a total of $723,951 higher than original estimates.

Brain Lovering, the village's senior engineer, wrote in a memo to the village board that the higher bid prices are due to the high demand for construction services, contract permitting requirements, and restrictive site conditions not typically encountered on roadway drainage projects.

Still, he wrote, the bids "represent a fair and reasonable cost" for the work.

"We got phenomenal prices in the past because of the economy," Johnson said. "Prices are returning to normal."

If bids for future projects are higher than expected and more than $38 million is needed to pay for the improvements, Johnson said the village plans to use proceeds from its new tax increment financing district, which covers a portion of the business park.

Construction of the new culverts is expected to begin in late June and be complete by the fall.

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