On Friday, Sept. 30, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $2.64 million contract for phase two of the Hofmann Dam removal project to Elburn-based Illinois Constructors Corporation.

Illinois Constructors will be responsible for notching the center 150 feet of the Hofmann Dam, stabilizing and planting the exposed riverbank and regrading Swan Pond Park and making other improvements, including repairing the park’s concrete retaining wall and installing a walking path along the riverbank.

Work on phase two is expected to commence in 2012.

Funding for both phases of the project is coming from state and federal sources. The maximum federal contribution is $5 million, with another $2.6 million coming from the state of Illinois.

Jeff Zuercher, the project manager from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the project is expected to come in under the maximum budget.

“It’ll be probably less for the $5 million federal total, but probably above $5 million in total cost,” said Zuercher. “We’ll be well under that [$7.6 million ceiling] taking a look at the numbers we have at this time.”

The Army Corps in 2010 awarded a $500,000 contract to complete phase one construction, which included the removal of the Fairbank Dam, adjacent to Riverside, and the Armitage Dam, which sits on the Des Plaines River north of North Avenue.

Phase one has faced many delays before getting the final go ahead late this summer. However, the work is stalled again as the Army Corps works out just how much sediment sits behind the Armitage Dam. That sediment must be removed by the contractor, Kovilic Construction, before the dam comes out, said Zuercher.

“We needed to know a more precise quantity,” said Zuercher. “We’re working with [the contractor] to improve our measurement of the sediment.”

There is no sediment to speak of behind the small Fairbank Dam, said Zuercher. While construction on removal of that dam was to have waited until after Armitage was removed, Zuercher said some preliminary staging work may begin at the Fairbank site before Armitage is completely removed.

“Winter is moving up on us, and we’ve asked [the contractor] to get this done this fall,” Zuercher said.

There is also quite a bit of sediment behind the Hofmann Dam.

However, the plan is to stabilize the bulk of that sediment behind the wing walls that will remain and by stabilizing the banks behind the dam using cobbles, boulders and new plantings.