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: