McHenry City Council names contractor for riverwalk extension project

McHENRY – For the first time since the McHenry Riverwalk was installed nearly seven years ago, the walkway will be extended.

The McHenry City Council accepted the low bid of about $314,000 placed by Landmark Contractors Inc. of Huntley for the extension of the riverwalk at its meeting Monday evening.

Using a combination of boardwalk, paver stones and concrete sidewalk, the walk will be extended from where it currently ends at Miller Point to the other side of the Route 120 bridge.

The work – plus the engineering already done – will be paid by the McHenry Riverwalk Foundation, Deputy City Administrator Bill Hobson said.

The foundation estimated its expenses at about $388,000, leaving about $87,000 in the bank, according to a November presentation made by John Smith, the president of its board of directors.

The city covered the legal costs associated with acquiring the easements, which are set to be voted on at the Jan. 6 meeting.

The bids ranged from Landmark Contractors winning bid of $314,000 to a high bid of about $508,000, according to council documents.

The reason the bids ranged widely and came in higher than the engineering estimate of about $303,000 is likely because of fluctuations in material prices and the desire of contractors to get the job, city engineer Chad Pieper of HR Green said in a letter to the city.

The Riverwalk Foundation hopes to continue the momentum, extending the walkway to Pearl Street next year with the eventual goal of connecting it to Weber Park, Smith said.

The renewed push follows the election of a new board of directors, giving the project “a needed new infusion of energy,” he said.

The foundation is asking the city to contribute $400,000 for the work, Smith said. The cost estimates do not include any public piers or gazebos.

The foundation also would need to acquire easements before the project could move ahead, Smith said, adding that no easements have been acquired yet north of Route 120.

“This is really a spectacular thing that we’ve done, and we need to push it,” he said.

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