Evanston's water plant. (Google Maps)

Evanston’s City Council is scheduled to approve a $44.7 million contract Monday to replace the 1909 intake pipe serving the city’s water plant.

It’s the oldest of three water intake pipes at the water plant, and the project is designed to improve the capacity and reliability of the water supply.

Different sections of the old pipe have diameters of 36 and 42 inches. The new 60-inch diameter pipe will extend just over a mile into Lake Michigan.

The project, which is expected to take two years to complete, is scheduled to be awarded to IHC Construction Companies LLC, the lowest of three bidders on the project.

The bids all came in substantially above the original project budget, but city staff say they are in line with the increase in construction costs since the budget was prepared nearly a year and a half ago.

A staff memo says the higher bid prices “reflect the current volatile construction environment due to increased material costs, labor shortages and other global factors.”

Funding for $20 million of the project cost has been secured through a 30-year loan from the federal Environmental Protection Agency with an interest rate of 2%.

The rest of the project cost is expected to be funded through a 20-year loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency at a rate of 1.11%.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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