Construction on $7 million water tower underway in Gurnee

  • Work to complete the $7 million water tower project in Gurnee began earlier this month. Village contractors dug a large hole for the tower's foundation.

    Work to complete the $7 million water tower project in Gurnee began earlier this month. Village contractors dug a large hole for the tower's foundation. Courtesy of the Village of Gurnee

  • Work to complete the $7 million water tower project in Gurnee began earlier this month. Village contractors dug a large hole for the tower's foundation.

    Work to complete the $7 million water tower project in Gurnee began earlier this month. Village contractors dug a large hole for the tower's foundation. Courtesy of the Village of Gurnee

 
 
Updated 1/21/2019 5:34 PM

Construction is underway on the $7 million water tower project in Gurnee.

The tower, which was approved by the village board in March, is being built on village-owned land at 1525 Knowles Road, near Rollins Road and will improve water pressure for residents on the west side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Last week, village contractors finished digging a large hole that will become the foundation for the tower. Instead of being hampered by the cold weather, crews may have found digging easier, according to Jack Linehan, the assistant to the village manager.

"A lot of the time it's best to dig in cold temperatures, especially when it's dry," Linehan said. "The soil stays together better when it's cold."

Linehan said workers started digging just two weeks ago and will now move on to pouring the foundation. In the spring, they will begin building the tower, he said.

The new water tower will have 10 times the capacity of the old 200,000-gallon tower near Gurnee Fire Station 1, which was demolished by the village in June. And because the new tower will be located farther west, it will improve water pressure where it is needed the most.

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Linehan said the low water pressure on the west side might not be noticeable in daily use, but it comes into play when a lot of water must be pumped, such as in a fire response.

The village is using a $5.5 million low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help pay for the project. In June, the village awarded a $3.9 million contract to Chicago Bridge & Iron to build the tower. That sum doesn't include costs such as engineering, permitting and the work that will need to be done to hook the tower to the water supply. With those costs included, the village is conservatively estimating the project will cost $7 million.

Linehan said the water tower project is slated to be completed in 2020.

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