Countryside City Engineer John Fitzgerald (left) has found a company to install a new water main after getting no bids earlier this year. Finance Director David Schutter added assistant city administrator to his duties. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside City Engineer John Fitzgerald (left) has found a company to install a new water main after getting no bids earlier this year. Finance Director David Schutter added assistant city administrator to his duties. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside finally gets bids for water main project

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By Steve Metsch

Lo and behold, there is a bidder for a public works project in Countryside.

A few months after learning no bids had been submitted for the Sunset Avenue water main replacement, city engineer John Fitzgerald was pleased to inform the city council on June 14 that an interested company has been found.

The council unanimously approved paying Suburban General Construction, based in La Grange, $1,582,753 for the work, per Fitzgerald’s recommendation.

The surprising lack of bids received was only the second time in his 37 years as an engineer that Fitzgerald has seen it working with municipalities.

It was the first time he’s seen it in Countryside.

“No one alerted me to it. My jaw almost hit the table,” he said of when he learned no bids were received.

Contractors told Fitzgerald that his original completion date was too aggressive, so he moved the date from Aug. 15 to Nov. 15.

The later completion date resulted in six bids being received with Suburban General being the lowest, Fitzgerald said.

In other business, the city is considering adding traffic-calming devices on 56th, 57th and 58th streets between East Avenue and La Grange Road.

Ald. Mark Benson (3rd), who heads the council’s infrastructure committee, said the three east-west roads are being used as a shortcut by motorists eager to avoid roadwork that cuts traffic to one lane in each direction on East Avenue.

Some of those motorists are speeding down the residential streets, posing safety concerns, Benson said.

“There are speed bumps, speed humps and speed tables. We are in the process of analyzing speed data to potentially install these temporarily during the construction on East Avenue,” Benson said of the options.

The city needs speed data on traffic heading from East Avenue to La Grange Road “because that’s where the problem lies,” Benson said.

The council did approve an extension request until Nov. 9 for an approved variance for Highland Automotive, 9655 W. 55th St.

Highland is adding Avis, an auto rental company, to its property and needs a variance regarding landscaping and driveway requirements.

The board approved a variance for 5540 S. Edgewood Ave., where the homeowner wants to reduce the front yard setback from the required 30 feet to 19 for construction of a covered porch.

Police Sgt. Darrell DuRell was appointed commander and investigator Joseph DiGangi Jr., was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Finance Director David Schutter added to his duties, as he was sworn in as assistant city administrator.

The council unanimously approved another four-year deal with City Administrator Gail Paul.

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