Walker Road Project

By MIKE NESTER

The Savanna City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, May 28, to award the Wacker Road Project bid to Fischer Excavating for $4,456,044.

Council members had approved an intent to bid for Fischer at their April 23 meeting.

The Freeport-based company was one of four bidding on the road project and had the low bid by about $400,000.

Others bids were McCarthy Improvement Company, Davenport, Iowa, $4,887,874; Martin and Company, Oregon, $5,047,600; and Brandt Construction, Milan, $5,235,815.

Fischer is no stranger to Savanna as the company recently completed the In-System for the city’s new sewer plant built a few years ago.

According to Supt. of Public Works John Lindeman the Illinois EDA now needs to finalize the plan as well as approve the loan agreements before ground can be broken.

Mayor Chris Lain told the Times-Journal on Tuesday, June 4, that a ground-breaking ceremony is tentatively planned for Friday, June 14. An exact time and location have not been determined.

“This project will benefit so many in the community,” Mayor Lain said on a social media post. “The residents along Wacker Road with new water, sewer, curb and gutter, as well as promote continued growth with our manufacturers and major employers by creating an easier and better route for commerce.”

Added Mayor Lain, “Our schools and children will benefit by having sidewalks and crosswalks to make it safer for them to walk to and from school.

“This is such an amazing project,” the mayor said on his Facebook page. “We will be reconstructing the roadway, widening it by two feet with eight-inch thick concrete and dowel bars, making it a truck route. We are adding new sanitary and sewer and water.

“With Safe Routes to Schools, sidewalks will be constructed on the north side of Wacker Road from Illinois 84 to Cedar Street and the south side from Iris to Willow, and extending back on Willow and Iris. Flashing crosswalk signs will be added for additional safety to the kids crossing for the primary school. We have a goal of substantial completion by the end of November 2019 and full completion by the spring of 2020.”

The mayor also said via his social media post, “This project has been yeas in the making and has been funded by multiple grants, forgivable loans, low-interest loans and donations. Thank you to everyone who has helped get this project going, and special thank you to Elkay and Metform for paying the majority of the city’s match for the sidewalk grant.

Lindeman said the water and sewer lines as well as all the curb and gutter will be the first part of the project. Lindeman added the work will start at the West Carroll Primary School and run west toward Illinois 84.

Lindeman said he is hopeful that stretch can be completed before winter and the rest of the project will be finished next spring.

The project will blacktop Wacker Road from Illinois 84 to Penn Avenue and will also add curb and gutters, crosswalks, and new water and sewer lines.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $5,291,745. A federal grant from the U.S Department of Commerce will cover $1,514,521 and the state is adding two grants totaling $1,395,035.

The city is taking out loans for the $962,518 water project and another $546,128 for the sewer work. As part of the 1 percent loan from the state, the city will receive 75 percent forgiveness on the total water cost and another 50 percent on the sewer work.

City funds, not counting the loans, will cost the city $873,543. The city has already paid over $200,000 of that money to MSA for engineering work completed.