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Normal council OKs nearly $4M contract for water main replacement along Main Street

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Cristian Jaramillo
/
WGLT
In this file photo, a Town of Normal crew works on water mains. On Monday, the town council OK'd a nearly $4 million contract for an upcoming project to replace water mains along two busy stretches of Main Street.

The Normal Town Council's meeting on Monday was only eight minutes long, but it packed a big-dollar punch, with approval of a nearly $4 million Main Street water improvement project.

The council voted 6-0 in favor of awarding the contract to Bloomington-based George Gildner Inc. Council member Stan Nord was absent.

Work on the busy one-way, northbound corridor is set to begin in a year. One lane on the street should be open during the project that is expected to be finished in spring 2024.

The focus of the project is replacing about 5,000 feet of aging water mains along two stretches of Main Street — before an upcoming Illinois Department of Transportation project to replace road surfacing in the same area. The project targets Division Street to Virginia Avenue, and further north from Beaufort Street to College Avenue.

Both bids received came in 50% higher than the engineer's estimate of $2.5 million.

According to council materials, one reason for the higher cost is a staff decision to expand the scope to include an additional 1,100 feet of water main. That will cover a short section of Kinsgley Street, and the west section of Dry Grove Street.

Normal City Manager Pam Reece told the council on Monday the additional funding needed to complete the project will come from revenue generated through the Main and Osage tax increment finance (TIF) district.

Council member Karyn Smith asked what would happen with leftover Main and Osage TIF money — about $500,000. Reece told her that would be saved for future projects.

Normal Water director John Burkhart told the council in recent years, water main replacements have been completed on Main Street between Virginia and Cullom Street, and Cullom and Hovey.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved final plats for the fourth and fifth additions to Blackstone Trails subdivision in northeast Normal, adding about 60 single-family lots.
  • Rezoned three acres on the town's northwest side, from commercial to R-3 medium density. Similar usage already is happening near the Parkside and Raab roads area, at The Lofts Northend, a multi-family residential development.
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Michele Steinbacher is a WGLT correspondent. She joined the staff in 2020.
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