By Jim Hagerty
Rockford aldermen approved the first major project to improve the the city’s fire department in more than 20 years Monday, May 12, when they voted unanimously to build a new station on the southwest side.
The new facility will be at 804 Marchesano Drive. It will replace Station No. 3, at 1520 S. Main St.
Firefighters will continue to use the existing station until construction is completed.
Officials say the plan is necessary because an IDOT project that will widen South Main Street will render the existing fire station unusable. The facility will be torn down after the new station is finished.
Construction is scheduled to begin in June. The new Station No. 3 is expected to be finished in March 2015. Cost has been estimated at $5.4 million. The city will issue bonds to cover the cost.
The Finance and Personnel Committee awarded the construction bid to build the new station to Larson & Larson Builders, of Loves Park.
In other business, aldermen are still mulling whether to rebuild the network of roads and bridges known as the Whitman Street interchange. If the city decides to build two new bridges and redesign the interchange, it could use more than $15 million in federal funds to foot the bill. Building the bridges and leaving the existing roads would come with a cost of $4 million, funds the city would raise on its own. Aldermen are expected to continue the matter next week.
The Rockford City Council meets every Monday at 6 p.m., at City Hall.
From the May 14-20, 2014 issue