The city’s cost of removing the Monterey Dam and restoring the riverfront is down by more than half from original estimates and could drop further.

The city this week announced receiving a $150,000 state grant to help pay for restoration of the shoreline along the north side of the Rock River and install two canoe and kayak launches, a handicapped-accessible fishing platform and stone steps down to the water.

The city earlier received a $400,000 state grant to help pay for removal of the Monterey Dam.

The city originally estimated dam removal and restoration would cost $1.5 million.

That cost was reduced to $1.2 million after engineering adjustments. After the two grants, the city’s cost is reduced to $650,000. The city still has a $460,000 flood control grant application pending.

Public Works Director Paul Woodard said the city will find out by the end of the year how much, if any, of the $460,000 it will get.

“We’re competing statewide, so I don’t know what other projects are in the state, how our project compares to those,” Woodard said. “The state has only so much money for these grants, and they divvy it up based on the grants that they receive, and I don’t know what I’m competing against.”

Although financing is running ahead of expectations, work by the contractor, Madison-based Drax, is behind schedule because of wet weather, Woodard said.

Drax had been scheduled to finish by Dec. 1 the area where the dam once stood downstream from the Center Avenue bridge, but a month ago the contractor requested an extension to finish the area next spring, Woodard said.

“The river has been so high, it’s been hard to be very productive down there,” he said.

City officials will decide by the end of October whether to give Drax more time.

“We want to sit down and meet with the contractor and get a schedule from them, what they think it’s going to take to finish up the project,” Woodard said.

Drax already is scheduled to begin work in spring on the Monterey lagoon area upstream from the Center Avenue bridge. Woodard said he doesn’t think an extension for downstream work will affect the contractor’s ability to finish work upstream on time.

“They have all of next year to get that done,” he said.

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