Council approves bid solicitation for streets


Jasmyne Taylor

The City Council approves the solicitation of bids for a street improvement project at Monday night’s meeting at City Hall.

Erika Ward

The Macomb City Council voted to authorize a memo to solicit bids for street improvement projects for 2017 in around Western Illinois University, starting construction on May 22 and working with Western for some aspects the university wishes to add.

“Part of this project would be that Western engineers would like to put a concrete conduit underneath Western Avenue to contain several electrical wires that would go underneath the road,” said City Administrator Dean Torreson. “They would like us to include this in our bid, and they would reimburse us for that amount, which is estimated at $45,000.”

The total estimation for the project is $1.1 million and would affect parts of Wigwam Hollow Road, Adams Street, University Drive and Western Avenue. The construction would utilize both concrete and asphalt on the improvements.

“The timeline on this is to have all bids available for the March 6 Council meeting, as far as the asphalt part of it,” Torreson said. “The concrete part of it will be available for the March 20 meeting to consider.”

Torreson said that the engineers have determined that there are parts of the road that are unable to support the constant traffic, causing ruts and damage to the road, causing them to suggest using concrete as a portion of the construction

“One thing that I would like to point out, though, is that we did have an initial amount of money set aside for these three projects right at $1.5 million,” Torreson said. “Right now, we might come in $400,000 lower than that. So we do have some money to play with there, if the bids come in higher than expected.”

The City Council also approved a schedule of meetings regarding the budget for FY 2017-2018 for the city.

Mayor Mike Inman made mention at the end of the assembly of an Amtrak meeting scheduled for Tuesday in Chicago, but clarified after the gathering that it is not directly about the pilot program that Amtrak officials proposed the week prior.

“This is our quarterly meeting of our Amtrak Corridor Coalition,” Inman said. “Those are folks from Quincy, Macomb, Galesburg, Kewanee and Princeton that several years ago we came along collectively and started to promote events on that corridor, also promoting the positive effects of Amtrak, both nationally and regionally.”

Inman, as chair of the coalition, said he would be in attendance at the meeting at Chicago Union Station on Tuesday along with Amtrak officials and other members of the community.

“It’s a time for us to get to know them, to get to express our support for them, but also let them know that we have some priorities too, and we know we’ll be heard,” Inman said. “It’s all about partnerships, that’s really what this coalition is about.”

 As for the pilot program that would make the Macomb station more ADA compliant, Inman said that Amtrak engineers are currently working everything out behind the scenes.

“As we dealt with last week, that’s something that Amtrak came to us and proposed this pilot project,” Inman said.

“That’s all moving forward, that’s playing in the background. This is not wholly separate from that, but I doubt that we will have much discussion (on it). That’s being taken care of by engineers on the Amtrak side and our local engineers here in Macomb.”

The next City Council meeting will be a meeting of the Committee of the Whole and will take place on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in City Hall.