Bids for McHenry street, wastewater plant projects higher than expected

McHENRY – With asphalt prices shooting up, Crescent Avenue won’t make the cut for this year’s summer resurfacing program.

The McHenry City Council hired Peter Baker and Son Company to resurface about 1.2 miles of city streets at its meeting Monday evening.

The Lake Bluff firm was the lowest bidder at just over $520,000, which was well above the engineering estimate of just under $470,000.

The cost was driven up by high oil prices causing the cost of asphalt to also climb, said Chad Pieper, an engineer through the city-hired engineering firm HR Green.

To bring the cost down, Pieper recommended the city nix work on Crescent Avenue from John Street to Country Club Drive, which had been included in case prices were low enough, and that the city also reduce the thickness of the surface coat from 2 inches to the original 1½ inches.

The recommendation also includes reducing how much of Biscayne Drive is removed and then resurfaced, doing less patchwork on Bull Valley Road and reducing the amount of sidewalk replaced on Biscayne Drive.

The changes would reduce the project’s cost to about $410,000, closer to the budgeted amount.

The reduced road thickness should affect the quality of the roads, Pieper said, ­adding the city shot for 2 inches to make the road stronger than before and to help fix some drainage and settling issues.

The roads should still meet the typical 15- to 20-year lifespan, he said.

The remaining streets to be resurfaced include Kane Avenue from Route 31 to its western dead end, Bull Valley Road from Green Street to Bally Road, Bally Road from Bull Valley Road to its north end, Prairie Street from Bally Road to its western dead end, and Biscayne Drive from Green Street to Amberwood Place.

The bids to make some repairs and replace roofs at the south wastewater treatment plant also came in higher than expected.

The low bid, which came from Olsson Roofing Company of Cherry Valley, was $237,000, nearly double the engineering estimate of $125,000 provided by Studio 222 Architects.

The difference was caused by seasonal competition from schools for material and manpower, rises in insulation costs, and additional costs related to upgrading the entry door materials, according to a letter from Studio 222 Architects, the architect firm hired to oversee the project.

Because the “deteriorated roof systems have far exceeded their functional lives” putting “the entire plant operations in jeopardy,” the firm's principal Timothy Schmitt recommended moving ahead with the project.

UPDATED: The updated article clarifies that the engineering estimates for the street projects were done by HR Green and the estimates for the wastewater treatment plant project came from Studio 222 Architects.

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