Lakeside Alliance says OPC construction bidding will open this fall, predicts completion by 2023

Gary Hill with the Lakeside Alliance explains the construction group’s estimated bidding timeline at Ald. Hairston’s 5th Ward meeting. (Photo by Aaron Gettinger)

Staff writer

The Lakeside Alliance announced at Ald. Leslie Hairston’s 5th Ward meeting that contractor bidding for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) construction is set to begin this fall and construction is set to begin in the spring and be finished by the fall of 2023.

“We have a 50% utilization goal of underrepresented businesses that has never been achieved before, which is why we’re super-excited that we’ve actually had time to sit and meet and talk with any contractor who’s actually interested in hearing more about this work,” said Pamyla Fountain Brown, Director of Community and Citizenship at Turner Construction, at the Aug 27 meeting.

Bidding for the ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) letters to be set up in the museum tower’s window is to begin by September. Bidding for site-clearing, early utilities, geothermal construction, caissons, mass excavation and the concrete structural frame is to be open from October to November.

Bidding for architectural projects, landscaping, facade, mechanical, electrical and plumbing projects and fire protection will run from April to May. The remainder of packages will go from June to July of 2020.

Engineering for structural concrete, preconstruction services, has an estimated volume of $45 to $50 million and is estimated to start this fall, alongside the preconstruction services for the UHPC letters at $4 to $5 million.

Maintenance of traffic with an approximate volume of $1 to $2 million, and site-clearing, $500,000, is estimated to start in the spring.

And bid packages for the earth retention system ($4 – $5 million), caissons ($2 – $3 million for the tower, forum and library; $1 – $1.5 million for the parking garage), geothermal wells ($2 – $3 million), dewatering ($2 million), structural and mass excavation ($5 for the tower, forum and library; $2 – $3 million for the parking garage) and utilities ($225,000) are estimated to begin next summer.

Deep foundation construction is to run from the spring through the fall of 2020, with superstructure construction to begin that fall and run into the fall of 2022. Interior, mechanical, electrical and plumbing construction is to begin next summer and run through the fall of 2023. Landscaping and enclosure work will begin in the summer of 2022 and finish in the fall of 2023.

Hairston said over 200 parties attended the contractor outreach session she recently hosted with the Lakeside Alliance.

Municipal services present


Invited representatives from Chicago’s departments of Streets and Sanitation and Transportation also addressed the ward meeting.

Malcolm Whiteside, Jr., who manages the Chicago Bureau of Forestry, part of the Streets and Sanitation Department, said his office was handling all tree trimming requests submitted between Jan. 1 to June 30. He said trims are inspected to ensure a 7-foot clearance on sidewalks and a 10-to-12-foot clearance on the streets.

He said inspectors are looking for dead and diseased trees as well as storm damage, though the Forestry Bureau also works with the Department of Water Management to deal with the latter. He said he does not, however, trim alleys (90% of trees there are owned by homeowners, he said) or trees above streetlights, saying that they are electric utility ComEd’s responsibility; he referred meeting attendees to 1-800-334-7661.

Whiteside reminded homeowners that they were responsible for disposing of tree debris. Wood chips are available from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 900 E. 103rd St. Requests for new trees should go to 3-1-1, though he cautioned that there is a process.

Alonzo M. Owens, the assistant commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), said that residents should contact him ( if they have submitted unanswered requests to fix potholes to 3-1-1.

“Aldermen give us a lot. But if you put it in 3-1-1 and it’s taking a while, there’s a purpose to why she invited us out tonight. That’s how we know the list is going to be long,” Owens said.

Hairston encouraged residents to call her office instead of 3-1-1 so her staff could track requests, though Owens said that residents should get a service request number before calling CDOT.

Community benefits agreement

Ald. Harry Osterman’s (48th) staff confirmed on Tuesday that the community benefits agreement housing ordinance will not be considered at the City Council Housing Committee’s Sept. 11 meeting, which he chairs, meaning that the CBA will not be voted on until October at the earliest.

At the ward meeting, Hairston, who introduced the ordinance with Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th) in July, said she is working with the Chicago Department of Law and other aldermen “to tweak the language and make sure the ordinance is legally sound.”

“It will take some time to get it to where it needs to be before it becomes law, and I will keep you posted on the amendments that have to be made,” she said.

Other legislative work

Hairston also discussed the July-passed Fair Workweek Ordinance that requires large employers to give workers two-weeks’ notice about schedules and pay them for last-minute changes and ethics reforms that ban aldermen from representing private clients or receiving compensation in some matters.

“Aldermen cannot have an economic relationship that is in conflict with serving their constituency, which makes perfect sense,” she said.

Hairston, who serves on the Budget Committee, said she was looking forward to its coming hearings, saying that they would proceed differently from those during the Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel mayoral administrations.

Hairston also said she requested renovations and updates to the Jackson Park Harbor and former Coast Guard station at 64th Street and Lake Shore Drive at the Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 14 meeting.

“The northeast winds have done significant damage to Dock A and the outer harbor, located right across the street. Some of the boats there have also sustained significant damage,” she said. “Another concern I raised was regarding the raised lake water levels, which have caused some of the long-term boaters in the inner harbor to have to transfer their boats to other docks.”

Hairston said the former station was being “inappropriately utilized for Park District offices and storage when it could be used for boat programs for our young people, a restaurant or event space.

“Our harbors are long-overdue for necessary repairs, and the climate change situation is not helping.”

The next 5th Ward meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. at the South Shore Fine Arts Academy, 1415 E. 70th St.