$1.5M IL Standpipe Overhaul Project Approved


The Village of North Riverside in Illinois has awarded a $1.5 million contract to refurbish a 2.5-million-gallon water standpipe, which has been deferred over the years due to financing.

Last month, The Riverside-Brookfield Landmark reported that trustees voted 5-1 to approve the contract to Neumann Company Contractors Inc. of Merrillan, Wisconsin, to refurbish the standpipe both inside and out.

Trustees also voted 5-1 to award a $40,000 design engineering contract for the project to Novotny Engineering and a $34,440 contract to Lansing, Michigan-based Nelson Tank to perform inspections throughout the refurbishment project.

The one vote against the contracts reportedly expressed a preference to defer coating the standpipe’s exterior in order to keep pursuing possible grant funding. This was in reference to an inspection report delivered to the village in July 2021 from Dixon Engineering, stating that the exterior sandblasting and coating could be “delayed until aesthetics dictate.”

While the inspection outlined the exterior in “fair” condition, there were “spot failures to the substrate” and “numerous coating failures throughout.” It was also recommended that work be completed “in one to two years” after the report was issued.

According to the reports, the bid combines the interior and exterior sandblasting as one item, costing $925,600, which includes the entire water tower being encased in a dust containment system during the project.

John Fitzgerald of Novotny Engineering, the village’s longtime engineering firm, said that deferring the exterior work would still require the water tower to be drained from the tank and refilled both times, taking it out of service twice.

North Riverside Public Works Director Vince Ranieri told the Landmark that a standpipe like this one should be renovated every 15 years for it to attain its 100-year life expectancy. Deferring maintenance could reportedly jeopardize that long-term life and risk failure requiring an emergency response.

“We’ve pushed it off as long as we can push it off, and now it needs to be done,” Ranieri said. “We can’t lose the standpipe. It’d be as if taking the heart out of someone’s body.”

The project is expected to begin between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, taking 90 days to complete. It will also reportedly require the village to secure multiple backup water supplies in the event of an emergency.

A dust containment barrier will be erected first, in addition to draining the 150-foot-tall, 54-foot-wide tank. Afterwards, the interior and exterior surfaces will be abrasive blasted.

Workers are expected to check the integrity of the joints and welds on the steel structure and make needed repairs. The crew will also repair the standpipe’s cathodic protection system, which has been broken since summer 2021. 

A water mixing system will reportedly be added, allowing the water to be moved inside the tank to prevent ice buildup in below-freezing temperatures.

Both the interior and exterior will get an epoxy coating before the standpipe is refilled at a rate of about 300 to 400 gallons per minute. Work is expected to be completed sometime in November.

Ranieri reports that the color of the exterior paint job has not been finalized, but will likely be similar to the existing coating. The contract amount also allows for the village logo to be painted on opposite sides of the standpipe.

Riverside Bridge Coating Work

In November of last year, Riverside Township officials approved a long-awaited bid for painting and cleaning work on the Swinging Bridge. The Board of Trustees had struggled to get bids for the project since the previous coating work was found to be flaking in 2020, while the few bids obtained were out of budget.

The H. Wallace Caldwell Memorial Bridge, also known as the Swinging Bridge, is 210-feet long cable suspension bridge over the Des Plaines River in Illinois. The bridge was originally built in 1940 and rebuilt in 2002. The last coating work was completed in 2011.

An inspection of the bridge in 2020 found that the coating applied in 2011 was in a state of “widespread failure.” The Board of Trustees reportedly in November 2021 that they were having trouble getting bids for coating the rusting and flaking structure.

Then, in July 2022, township officials reported that its third attempt to receive bids for the project was unsuccessful

However, a few months later, the sole qualified bid of $433,833 from Capital Industrial Coatings LLC (Hammond, Indiana) was approved by the township board in November in a 3-0 vote, with two trustees absent.

Work is not anticipated to begin until spring 2023, due to township officials not wanting to have the contractor suspend work during winter and leave part of the bridge unfinished.

Capital Industrial Coatings reportedly said it is possible to use an alternate coating to begin work this year, but it was not clear whether that alternate coating would cost more money. Wilt said they were assured that waiting until spring will also not affect the price.

While township officials were unsure of the scope of work initially, the newly approved bid does include cleaning and recoating of the structure, including the abatement of all existing paint. The new paint job is anticipated to last for the next 25 to 30 years.


Tagged categories: Coating Application; Coating Materials; Coatings; Contract awards; Contractors; Contracts; Epoxy; Government contracts; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Surface Preparation; Tank exteriors; Tank interiors; Tanks; Tanks; Upcoming projects; Water Tanks

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