Repairs to Naperville's Moser Tower, nearby walkway to cost $2.1 million

  • The Naperville City Council has approved awarding a nearly $2.1 million bid to a Chicago-based firm to complete structural repairs to the iconic downtown bell tower that houses the Millennium Carillon.

    The Naperville City Council has approved awarding a nearly $2.1 million bid to a Chicago-based firm to complete structural repairs to the iconic downtown bell tower that houses the Millennium Carillon. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/3/2021 11:47 AM

Repairs to Naperville's iconic downtown bell tower and a nearby walkway are on track to be completed this fall with a price tag of nearly $2.1 million.

The city council this week unanimously approved awarding a bid to Chicago-based StruxC-MC, LLC to fix corroded structural steel, cracked concrete and other issues discovered with the 160-foot-tall Moser Tower. The work is expected to include waterproofing and "significant repairs" to the structure's internal stairs and platforms, according to a memo from Bill Novack, the city's director of transportation, engineering and development.

 

Also roped into the construction costs is the replacement of a "severely deteriorated" beam along a pedestrian path on the west side of Eagle Street, he said, noting the synergy between the two Riverwalk projects prompted city officials to bid them together.

City officials have checked references and vetted StruxC-MC, which specializes in masonry and concrete work -- an important step given the nature of the project, Novack told the council Tuesday.

"It will be a difficult job. It's unique, and I'm sure we will run into some bumps in the road," he said. "But so far, just in the discussions we've had since the bid opening, it's been very positive."

Built between the late 1990s and 2006, the tower that houses the 72-bell Millennium Carillon was designed as a "unique and striking piece to mark the beginning of the new millennium," Novack said in his memo. But the structure's future was called into question after a 2015 assessment showed its condition was deteriorating faster than anticipated.

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The Riverwalk Commission, which oversees the tower, conducted "extensive public engagement," weighed several options and ultimately recommended the structure be repaired in one phase, Novack said. The council agreed and directed staff members last year to prepare construction plans.

The least expensive of three firms, StruxC-MC's bid came in roughly $326,000 higher than the $1.76 million budgeted this year for the two projects, according to Novack's memo. The city expects to make up the difference using funds from recent street projects that came in under budget.

The repairs are expected to begin this month and be completed by Nov. 5. The Naperville Park District canceled Moser Tower programs and tours and closed the visitor center for the 2021 season in anticipation of the work.

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