Jason Carlson fishes below the Monterey Dam with his dog, Piper, on Friday. The lowest bid for removal of the Monterey Dam and related shoreline work came in at $1.54 million, above the $1.13 million the city expected the project to cost.

Anthony Wahl


Removal of the Monterey Dam and related shoreline work likely would cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars more than originally expected.

The Janesville City Council on Monday will consider awarding contracts for various city projects, including the removal of Monterey Dam.

A consultant for the city expected the dam project would cost about $1.13 million.

The low bid from Drax in Madison is for $1.54 million. That’s just over $400,000 more than the consultant’s estimate—a 35 percent difference.

City staff recommends awarding Drax the $1.54 million bid, but the city doesn’t expect to pay quite that much, according to a memo to the council.

Engineering staff worked with Drax and identified ways to save $285,500 while still meeting project goals. Contingency, consulting and engineering would add back $212,000, bringing the total project cost to an estimated $1.47 million, according to the memo.

That’s still $332,000 more than the city’s consultant predicted—a difference of 29 percent.

The Monterey Dam project would be paid for through the city’s stormwater utility fund, which is supported by stormwater utility fees. The city would borrow from the fund for the dam project and pay it back over 10 years, said Max Gagin, city finance director.

An increase in cost would increase how much the city pays back, but because it’s over a 10-year period, it wouldn’t be significant. The increased cost could increase stormwater utility bills, but because of the number of properties paying stormwater utility fees, the difference would be a matter of cents, not dollars, Gagin said.

“It shouldn’t have a significant impact on that fee,” he said.

The city has applied for three grants related to the Monterey Dam work. If the city receives all of them, it could get up to $800,000 for the project. That would leave only $665,000 to be funded through the stormwater utility fund, according to the memo.

The city received three other bids:

  • V3 Construction Group, Woodridge, Illinois—$2.1 million.
  • Terra Engineering & Construction, Madison—$2.4 million.
  • Michels Civil, Brownsville—$2.8 million.

The contractor selected would:

  • Remove the Monterey Dam.
  • Restore the upstream shoreline.
  • Stabilize the bank with surface fabric and riprap.
  • Construct a stormwater pond in the Monterey lagoon.
  • Excavate about 45,000 cubic yards of sediment.
  • Seed about 25 acres with native plants.
  • Plant about 250 trees and shrubs.
  • Build amenities, such as kayak launches, limestone steps, fish habitat and a concrete fishing deck.

“These improvements are consistent with what has been shown to the public in prior community engagement forums,” the memo reads.

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