Lily Lake Road work to resume with $183,000 correction, legal settlement

A local taxing district that provides sewer service to the Lakemoor area expressed frustration in a news release Monday with the Illinois Department of Transportation's handling of a mistake that delayed a Lily Lake Road construction project.

The discontent was made known as the sewer system, Northern Moraine Wastewater Reclamation District, announced in the release it reached a settlement of a lawsuit it filed last month against Crystal Lake-based Curran Contracting.

That business was hired for grading work on Lily Lake for the $1.3 million road project financed mostly by federal funds allocated by the state transportation department, with 10% of the costs covered by Nunda Township.

Northern Moraine's complaint alleged Curran dug too close to a sewer main along the road, leaving inadequate ground cover for the pipe and exposing a portion, thus risking damage to homes served by the district or environmental problems that could result from a break in the line.

The dispute led to the road work being paused since September. According to Northern Moraine statements to the Northwest Herald last month, the road work plans did not show the presence of the wastewater district's infrastructure.

With the settlement, Northern Moraine agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against Curran and will pay $143,000, with Nunda Township chipping in another $40,000, to correct the main pipe exposure and the amount of ground cover, according to the release.

"All the agencies involved agree that the public's interest will be best served with all the construction work being completed as expeditiously as possible," Northern Moraine Board President Kenneth Michaels said in the release. "While the NMWRD remains confident that it had no financial obligation to fix the problems with this project, its preeminent concerns have been to protect our Lakemoor citizens and our citizens living along Lily Lake Road, so it was in our constituents' best interests to compromise with Nunda Township and move forward without IDOT."

The state transportation department bungled a request for additional funding to fix the issue, the wastewater district release claimed. Media relations officials for IDOT did not respond to a Monday email requesting comment.

The state agency initially indicated its support to provide federal funds to help resolve the problems "stemming from IDOT's sign-off on the erroneous road plans," according to the release, but it reportedly mischaracterized the nature of the corrective work. Federal funds were denied as a result, according to the release.

Nunda Township officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday on how quickly the road work would resume and be completed. Representatives from neither Curran nor HR Green, a McHenry firm hired for engineering work on the road project, returned messages requesting comment.

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