Sycamore awards contract for sidewalk work

Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore contractor was approved by city officials to help fix the deteriorating sidewalks around the city.

On Monday, RT Ericson Builders was awarded $58,404.50 by the Sycamore City Council to repair hazardous sidewalks near schools and heavily traveled areas. The company was one of four who made bids for the construction project, and their initial bid was at $59,281.

The lowest bid of $58,404.50 was from Alliance Contractors, located in Woodstock. However, the city has a local preference provision that allows a local contractor bidding on a project of less than $500,000 to match the lowest bid if their bid comes within 5 percent of it, said City Manager Brian Gregory. RT Ericson Builders’ bid fell within the 5 percent range and they were willing to match the low bid.

Mayor Ken Mundy said the city has failing sections of sidewalks and public safety is high on the city’s agenda. The city will initially focus on fixing sidewalks near parks, schools and parade areas, he said.

“We want people to be able to travel and use our sidewalks safely,” Mundy said.

RT Ericson Builders has demonstrable experience with concrete work in the area, Gregory said. Most recently the company did a project for a building at 321 W. State St., he said.

“They did a little concrete patching there and did a nice job,” Gregory said.

Last year, the City Council decided sidewalks needed to be a top priority and allocated $40,000 for repairs, he said. An additional $40,000 was available this year because the $40,000 dedicated to sidewalk improvements was left over as the city did not find a bidder under their apprenticeship requirements. The city removed the requirement for bidders this year, and the total funds available for the project were $80,000.

Portions of sidewalks that will be fixed include Spartan Trail, DeKalb Avenue and South Locust Street, Gregory said. A handful of sidewalks on South Main Street will need repair along with sidewalks on the south end of Somonauk Street, he said.

Last year, council members approved increasing the city’s contribution to the program by paying $4 of the $7 cost to remove and replace one square foot of sidewalk. Gregory said people can call the Building and Engineering Department to use the program, but said it was reserved for sidewalks that are in need of repair.

Mundy said sidewalk repairs will hopefully begin later this month and end in August.

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