The purpose of this report is to give an overview of the North Avenue Construction Project. The Project has led to unacceptable delays and inconveniences to the public.
The City apologizes for the negative impact that the construction has had on the quality of life for the impacted area. The delays of this project are unacceptable. The City has been pressuring the contractor to complete the work as soon as possible, in a safe and effective manner. Engineering staff are on site daily to ensure the work is complete in a safe and code compliant manner.
The North Avenue Construction Project includes replacement of the water main under North Avenue running from Idlewood Lane to Marl Oak Drive. The new main will improve water flow for everyday usage as well as enhance fire suppression capabilities. Other improvements include roadway resurfacing and new curbs. Along with curb replacement work, the concrete pavement on North Ave and Marl Oak Drive will be prepared for an asphalt surface.
Following a competitive Request for Proposals (“RFP”) process, the North Avenue construction contract was awarded to Copenhaver Construction based on their qualifications to perform the work and low responsible bid. The City conducts a formal Request for Proposals (“RFP”) process for capital improvement projects with a construction value above $25,000. In addition to the bid price, the City assesses bidder’s qualifications, experience, and quality of work conducted prior to awarding a contract. The City has the ability to award a contract to a bidder who is not the low bid based on qualitative factors.
Remaining Construction Schedule:
Pavement construction work is scheduled to be completed according to the following schedule, weather permitting.
On Friday, November 30, 2018, the contractor will pour the curb along the north side of North Avenue from Marl Oak Drive to Idlewood Lane. The contractors will also pour concrete driveways at various locations on Marl Oak Drive, North Avenue, and Summit Avenue.
No work is planned on Saturday, December 1, 2018 due to a 90% chance of rain in the forecast.
On Monday, December 3, 2018, the contractor will grind and mill pavement on Marl Oak, North, and Summit, and will also complete driveway aprons at various locations on North and Summit.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, asphalt pavement patches will be made on Marl Oak, North, and Summit.
On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, asphalt pavement patches are scheduled to be completed on Marl Oak, North, and Summit.
On Thursday, December 6, 2018, the asphalt binder will be placed on Marl Oak, North, and Summit. The contractor will also adjust frames and lids on 39 structures related to underground utilities in preparation for placement of the final asphalt surface.
On Friday, December 7, 2018, the final asphalt surface will be laid on Marl Oak, North, and Summit, weather permitting.
In the event the asphalt can’t be poured due to weather conditions or plant closings, the street will be winterized, which involves surface patching and a temporary concrete surface, making streets drivable during the winter. The final asphalt surface will be poured in the spring, upon reopening of asphalt plants.
Contractor Equipment Staging:
The contractor has been instructed to park construction vehicles and equipment away from the area of North and Marl Oak to ensure clear vehicular flow on North Avenue in front of Northwood Junior High School when no construction is taking place.
Traffic and Pedestrian Management Plan for Remaining Construction:
Public safety is a paramount core priority for the City. The Public Works Department will ensure no construction vehicles or equipment are staged on North Avenue in front of Northwood Junior High School which will impede traffic flow.
Police Officers and Community Service Officers will assist with traffic control around Northwood Junior High School during school arrival and dismissal times. In the event police personnel are dispatched to another area for an emergency, police command staff or other authorized personnel will provide traffic control during school arrival and dismissal.
North Avenue Construction Project Q&A
1. Why is the completion of this project so delayed?
The City issued a Request for Proposal, awarded the construction contract, and met with the contractor before school started. The contractor was supposed to complete a majority of the project prior to the commencement of the school year. The City informed the contractor of the importance of the work being completed before the school year began. The contractor informed the City that the start of this project would be delayed but that a majority of the work still could be completed prior to the start of the school year. The City continued to communicate to the contractor the importance of completing the work before school started, however the contractor failed to deliver on their commitment to complete the majority of work before school began. This delay is absolutely unacceptable to the City. The construction contract calls for the contractor to pay liquidated damages in the amount of $1,275 per day that construction continues beyond the deadline.
2. What happens if asphalt plants close before the project is complete?
The contractor plans to have the paving complete by Friday, December 7 according to the project schedule, weather permitting. Asphalt plants close each year around December at the end of the road construction season. Should asphalt plants close before the completion of this project, the contactor will winterize the roadway and asphalt will be placed in the spring. Winterizing involves patching of the pavement surface followed by concrete being poured to provide a safe driving surface. Once asphalt plants reopen, the final asphalt surface would be poured.
3. Why aren’t there any detour signs posted for the North Avenue construction?
The North Avenue construction project did not cause any full road closures which would warrant a detour. Detours are typically set up for those projects which cause a full road closure requiring traffic to be rerouted. The contractors barricaded and placed signage for those areas under construction and provided flaggers to direct traffic around ongoing construction.
4. Where can I get a copy of the construction contract?
The approved contract and staff report can be found on the City’s website and is linked here
5. Why didn’t the City cancel the project given the delayed start?
Copenhaver Construction informed the City that they would be able to complete the majority of work before school started, even with the delays. Despite the City’s demands that the project be expedited, work did not proceed as quickly as demanded by the City and unforeseen weather impacts caused further construction delays.
6. Will the City hire the contractor again in the future?
The City takes into account past experiences with contractors when reviewing and awarding construction contracts. The City conducts a formal Request for Proposals (“RFP”) process for capital improvement projects with a construction value above $25,000. In addition to the bid price, the City looks at the qualifications, experience, and quality of work conducted prior to awarding a contract. The City has the ability to award a contract to respondents who are not the low bid based on qualitative factors.
7. What is the backup plan in the event that police officers are dispatched to another emergency?
The Police Department has a combination of Police Officers and Community Service Officers assisting with traffic and pedestrian flow in the area of North and Summit Avenues. In the event that a Police Officer or Community Service Officer is dispatched to an emergency, Police command personnel will assume this responsibility. While construction is taking place, the contractor will have a flagger stationed to direct traffic around the construction site. As soon as a Police Officer or Community Service Officer is freed up from another emergency call, they will be stationed back in the area of North and Summit Avenues to continue providing traffic and pedestrian control.
8. Can anyone conduct traffic control?
Police Officers, Community Service Officers and Crossing Guards receive training by the Police Department to conduct traffic control. It is not safe or legal for a civilian, without this training, to control traffic on a public street.
9. Why aren’t there more crossing guards?
The City employs crossing guards at warranted locations throughout the community where pedestrians cross streets on their way to and from school. The warrants are determined based on a number of factors including but not limited to the number of pedestrians, roadway configuration and vehicular counts. The City is always looking for additional crossing guards. To apply for a crossing guard position, please visit the City’s website at www.cityhpil.com
. The crossing guards are part-time positions.
10. Does construction impact mail delivery
Based on a resident concern that their mail was not being delivered, we contacted the Highland Park Post Office to report the concern. Individuals are encouraged to contact the Post Office directly and to provide their address if they are not receiving mail. The Post Officer Supervisor reported that a mail carrier may suspend mail if they are not able to complete their route in a timely manner. In this case, mail will be attempted the following business day.
11. Where can I find more information about this project?
Updates and additional detailed information on the project can be found on the City website, www.cityhpil.com/construction
. The City posts construction updates on all construction projects such as underground utilities, bridges, ravines, and other City projects which can be found at the aforementioned link.
12. Who can I contact with questions?
Questions may be directed to City Manager Ghida Neukirch at 847.926.1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.