The village of North Riverside will undertake phase two of its Cermak Road water main replacement project in early September after trustees voted to award a contract for the work at their meeting on Aug. 13.
Orland Park-based Riccio Construction was the only firm to submit a bid for work, which will replace the deteriorating 8-inch water main on the south side of Cermak Road between 5th Avenue and 9th Avenue with a new 12-inch main.
North Riverside will pay Riccio Construction $625,360 for the work, which should start shortly after Labor Day, according to Village Engineer John Fitzgerald. Work is scheduled to wrap up sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Last year the village started the water main replacement project, installing a new 12-inch main from First Avenue to 5th Avenue. The village will continue to install four-block sections of new main in 2019 and 2020, and will wrap up when the new main extends to 17th Avenue.
The existing 8-inch water main is under Cermak Road and is at least 70 years old. Water pressure, especially fire flow, can be an issue on the far west end of the village, since it is so far from the water tower, and the Cermak Road main has been prone to breaks in recent years.
In 2016, a major break at 7th Avenue resulted in the village issuing a boil order for a little more than a day.
“It will improve not only fire flow to the commercial corridor, but to the side streets as well, because they are connected to it,” said Fitzgerald of the new 12-inch main.
The old 8-inch main will be disconnected and abandoned in place under Cermak Road. The new 12-inch main will be installed under the sidewalk on the south side of Cermak Road.
That will result in a good portion of the sidewalk being removed during construction, and will cause some inconvenience in accessing businesses and multifamily residential buildings that line Cermak Road from 5th to 9th avenues.
At the end of each work day, said Fitzgerald, the excavated areas will be backfilled with stone to give access.
“They won’t be fully accessible to everyone, but they’ll be passable,” Fitzgerald said.
Sidewalks will be replaced once sections of the water main are installed, tested and chlorinated as construction progresses west.
The work on the south parkway also means that the outside lane of traffic on eastbound Cermak Road is likely to be closed temporarily between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. when workers are on scene.
North Riverside has received a permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation to work in the state right-of-way but the village is not allowed to close any lanes to traffic during rush hours.
CDBG funding for water main
Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. on Aug. 13 announced that North Riverside had been awarded $200,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which will be earmarked for an infrastructure project in 2019.
The money will help pay the cost for installing a new 8-inch water main along 3rd Avenue between Cermak Road and 24th Street. The new main will replace an aging 6-inch main.
According to Fitzgerald, the hope is to install the new main in the parkway, but that may not be possible depending on what engineers confront during the design phase.
“That’s always our preference, but you can’t always do that,” he said.