Wednesday, April 30, 2008
sponsored by Maple Ridge

Illinois State Fairgrounds electrical system repairs completed ahead of schedule and under budget

Send a link to a friend

[April 30, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- The state-funded emergency construction project to repair underground electrical lines at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is complete and power has been restored to all areas of the fairgrounds nearly three weeks before the targeted completion date of May 16. The announcement was made Tuesday by Jim Riemer Sr., acting executive director of the Capital Development Board, and Tom Jennings, acting director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

"A lot of people went way beyond the call of duty to finish this project ahead of schedule and within budget," said Riemer. "I'd like to recognize and thank B & B Electric, the members of Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 193, HDR Engineering, and staff from CDB and the Department of Agriculture for making the timely completion of this vital project a top priority."

"This project certainly has raised awareness about the importance of the state fairgrounds to Springfield and the surrounding area," Jennings said. "The fact is the fairgrounds are used for more than just the Illinois State Fair, and we're extremely pleased -- and more than a little bit relieved -- to be able to announce that the fairgrounds are open for business again. I cannot express my thanks enough to everyone involved in this project for the hard work that enabled us to finish so far ahead of schedule."

B & B Electric of Springfield began the electrical repair and replacement work at the fairgrounds March 13. Their bid of $1.86 million was the lowest of five submitted. Workers found collapsed underground concrete and other undiscovered conditions after the project began, and this cost an additional $277,000 for necessary repairs to keep the work on schedule. A total of $578,000 was spent earlier to identify the cause of the widespread electrical failures at the fairgrounds, design a solution and make some initial repairs. The $2.71 million total project cost is considerably less than the original estimate of $3 million.

[to top of second column]

The project involved replacing approximately 120,000 feet (22.7 miles) of underground 12,470-volt copper cable that is the main source of electricity for the entire 366-acre fairgrounds.

The CDB hired HDR Engineering, a nationwide firm with offices in Springfield, on Jan. 31 to determine the source of electrical problems that had caused power outages at the fairgrounds and damage to electrical equipment. HDR's high-voltage system experts discovered that most of the underground electrical cable was nearing the end of its recommended service life and was experiencing insulation failures at numerous locations around the fairgrounds. They determined that additional, potentially hazardous, electrical failures along the high-voltage lines were possible and recommended installing new cable and a new grounding system at the fairgrounds.

[Text from Capital Development Board file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor