In the works for seven years, construction will begin this week on a new canoe launch on the east bank of Salt Creek just south of the Brookfield Village Hall parking lot in Kiwanis Park.

On Aug. 23, village trustees voted unanimously to award a $145,139 construction contract to Integral Construction Inc., which submitted the lowest of three bids for the work – some $20,000 lower than the nearest bidder.

The project is being partially funded by a $52,720 Boat Access and Development Grant through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, awarded to the village in 2014.

“The canoe launch project represents a significant improvement to Kiwanis Park and public access to the creek,” said Assistant Village Manager George Issakoo in a memo outlining the terms of the contract for the village board.

On the drawing board since 2014 and partially grant-funded, construction will begin soon on a new, more accessible canoe launch on the east bank of Salt Creek just north of the Brookfield Village Hall parking lot. (Courtesy of village of Brookfield)

The contract approved by the village board last week states that the project must be completed no later than Oct. 25. Issakoo told the Landmark work was slated to begin as early as Aug. 30.

According to plans on file with Hitchcock Design group, which the village employed to design the canoe launch, site work includes grading the site so the V-shaped concrete path slopes gently to the river bank. 

Workers will have to remove about 15 trees to accommodate the path and three circular landing areas – one at the top of the path, one where it turns sharply and one at the boat launch itself.

The two sections of path are each about 90 feet long. The contract also calls for decorative boulders to frame the north arc of the middle concrete landing. The canoe launch will feature a stone outcropping at Salt Creek’s edge to improve access and limit erosion.

Finally a roughly 30-foot long concrete revetment mat extending south from the canoe launch will provide additional access to the water’s edge during low water level conditions. For much of the year when water levels are typical, the revetment is likely to be submerged.

The village is expected to add benches at the top and middle landing pads and new trees and shrubs will be planted in time. While the village sought bids for landscaping, officials decided to hold off on extensive plantings until the Brookfield Conservation Commission can weigh in on the best options for that area.

Same firm awarded fountain contract

It’s been a busy year for Integral Construction Inc. in Brookfield, which also won a contract earlier this year for major improvements at Candy Cane Park. The firm on Aug. 23 was also awarded a $641,700 contract to construct a new fountain at Veterans Memorial Circle. Work is expected to begin in early September, according to Issakoo.

That amount was a good deal higher than the village engineer’s estimated budget for the project, which was about $541,000. The additional expense, according to Tim King, principal at Hitchcock Design Group, which designed the project, was related to the installation of the fountain’s mechanical system.

“Costs have just continued to go up,” King told trustees. “Monthly they’ve seen costs increase.”

King said the fountain manufacturer, Fountain Technologies, had identified some cost savings, amounting to roughly $40,000, which would be passed along to the village. The cost for any work done by village public works staff will also be deducted.

The fountain project is being funded in part by a $250,000 state grant. The balance will be funded through the Eight Corners TIF District.

The contract states Integral Construction Inc. must complete the project on or before Nov. 19.

With Integral Construction Inc. responsible for three projects at the same time in the village, some officials wondered whether the firm might be stretching itself thin.

But King said the date in the contract was a hard deadline.

“We’ve checked Integral’s references, I’ve had a conversation with the owner and I also talked to Fountain Technologies,” King said. “There’s a substantial completion and a final acceptance date in their contract. So, they’ll be contractually bound to meeting those dates.”

King said that during construction workers will close down about 10 to 12 feet of the roadway nearest the circle during work hours, but that traffic through and around the circle will not be interrupted at any time.