Janesville71.4°

Lake dredging attracting many contractors

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GINA R. HEINE
October 29, 2008
— About 30 contractors have requested bid information on the Lake Leota dredging project, including four to five of the "very best contractors" in the state, the project manager said Tuesday.

That kind of competition from major contractors likely would make the project economical, said Joe Dorava, an engineer with Vierbicher Associates.


Dorava updated the public works committee on the lake restoration project, which is pending the results of the Tuesday advisory referendum asking if the city should spend up to $2 million to restore the lake.


The project—removing about 200,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake—is out for bids with a Nov. 10 deadline.


Bids will be opened on the afternoon of Nov. 10, Dorava said, and he will check contractors' references to present a recommended contractor to the city council when it meets Nov. 11.


The project bid has attracted a "considerable amount of interest," Dorava said, including from contractors in other Midwestern states.


Dorava provided an overview of the project, which includes building a 10-foot deep fore bay southwest of the railroad tracks to collect sediment. A buffer would be built to separate that area from an 8-foot-deep recreation area and a 15-foot-deep fishing area.


The bid calls for clearing and grubbing, or removing all root material that has grown in the lakebed.


The willows, cattails and other vegetation that has grown in the area mostly will tolerate a couple feet of water, Dorava said, so the committee agreed the vegetation should be mowed in the non-dredged, buffer areas around the lake that will range from 0 to 2 feet in depth.


The bid does not include restoring the wetland vegetation, but Dorava recommended applying for a grant that would provide money for that portion of the restoration.


The city would have a 90 percent chance of receiving the $10,000 grant, he said. That would provide a good amount of natural plants from a local place such as Agrecol and volunteers could plant them for free, he said. Vegetation should be planted before the lake is refilled, he said.


If the project moves forward, the contractor ideally could do the dredging in 30 days, plus two weeks of prepping and two weeks of cleanup, he said.



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