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Big dig begins in Highland Homes

Workers begin digging up roadways in the Highland Homes Addition on Thursday.

Below-grade work on the City of Morris' infrastructure replacement and installation project in the Highland Homes Addition began Thursday.

The project contractor, Kuechle Underground, began work this week on milling roadways, and started digging Thursday morning, said City Engineer Jay Fier, who expects the projects could be finished by late fall.

"Like all projects, it depends on the weather, if we find stuff that we don't know what it is, and the soil we're working around," Fier said.

To keep the public informed about progress, Fier has scheduled weekly public briefings. The meetings are every Thursday at 9 a.m. near Keyrow Apartments on Scott Avenue and Sunnyslope Road. Four people showed up for the meeting Thursday, Fier said.

The city approved moving ahead with the project, despite difficult economic times, when it found bids came in almost $435,000 under engineering estimates.

Kuechle Underground, of Kimball, submitted the low bid of the 10 bids for the project, which entails new water, sewer, curb and gutter, and the construction of storm sewers for the addition. All 10 bids came in under the engineer's estimates, and seven came in more than $100,000 under estimates. Kuechle bid $1,547,316.

The Highland Homes project will be unique from other infrastructure work because the area has never had storm sewer service, and the configuration of the neighborhood will make the logistics of the construction more involved.