City council members gave final approval Tuesday night to replace the Fairchild Subway.
Aldermen approved an $18.49 million contract with O’Neil Brothers of Urbana for the project by an 11-0 vote. Aldermen Rick Strebing, Mike Puhr and Sharon McMahon were absent.
Work should start next month on the project.
Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis voiced his support about diversity in the workers for this “large project.” Davis asked Sandra Houston, human relations administrator, to give updates on the project.
Ward 7 Alderman Bill Black asked city engineer David Schnelle about the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) participation percentage for the project.
Schnelle responded it was 6.8 percent regarding awarding contracts. Houston will make sure the percentage is followed. A Minority Business Enterprise is one which is owned and controlled by at least 51 percent minority members.
Black said the Fairchild project has been a long time coming.
“I know all of us will be glad to see work start,” he said.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer added that securing $20 million in state and federal funding meant not asking taxpayers for further financial assistance with a $10 million bond issue.
Eisenhauer said there was a lot of cooperation with this critically important project for the city.
The total $20 million-plus project is being largely paid by grant funding. About $700,000 is coming from the city.
O’Neil Brothers was the lowest of three bidders. The two other bids were $23.37 million from Illinois Constructors of Elburn and $20.24 million from Halverson Construction of Springfield.
The 1915 subway will be filled in, with a new bridge to take Fairchild Street over the railroad tracks. The new overpass of the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads will start at Section Street and extend to Bowman.
The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2014.
The subway has been closed since April 2011 due to its walls moving and concern for public safety.
Aldermen Tuesday night also approved retaining Alfred Benesch and Co. for construction-related issues and services with the subway project on an as needed basis. The cost is not to exceed $128,150.
In other business, the council approved:
- Authorizing an intergovernmental agreement with Newell Township for Liberty Lane improvements.
- A $142,772 micro surfacing contract with Microsurfacing, Inc. of Peoria and St. Louis; a $471,409 overlay contract with Cross Construction of Urbana; and a $223,345 seal coat contract with Daniel L. Ribbe Trucking, Inc. of Tilton.
- About $95,000 in engineering services and right-of-way acquisition with Hanson Professional Services for Phase II of the Bowman Avenue reconstruction project. Phase II of Bowman Avenue improvements are from Crestview Drive to Winter Avenue.
- Applying for a $69,840 Assistance to Firefighter’s grant. The local city match would be $7,760. The fire department is planning to purchase 38 coats at $900 each, 38 pants at $800 each and 52 helmets at $250 each.
Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said bunker gear normally is replaced after 10 years, with the fire department having two sets of uniforms for each firefighter.
- An intergovernmental agreement with Newell Township for drainage improvements at Boiling Springs Road, west of Vermilion Street and north of Boiling Springs Road.
- Purchasing pump station remote monitoring equipment for $148,300 from Precision Systems of Calumet City and approving a $34,160 agreement with Donohue and Associates of Champaign for engineering services for the rehabilitation of H&L Landfill pump stations.
- Establishing prevailing wage rates in construction of public works.