Large backhoe shown at the pumping station site.                   RoundTable photo

The homes of a number of people residing near the construction site of the new pumping station at 2525 Church St. shook when a large backhoe raised and lowered its shovel to break up concrete pipe on Oct. 31. Several homeowners told the RoundTable that their homes vibrated and shook so much that cracks appeared in portions of the ceilings and walls.

The Morton Grove/Niles Water Commission (MGNWC) is constructing the water pumping station to boost the pressure of water that the City of Evanston has agreed to provide to MGNWC.

Kirk Hipps, a Resident Engineer with Stanley Consultants retained by MGNWC, said in an email to one neighbor at about 4 p.m. on Oct. 31 that the contractor, Bolder Construction, had been notified of the complaints to date. He added, “The noise and vibrations were generated while they were crushing concrete pipe before shipping it off site. Fortunately, all of the pipe has been crushed and they are loading it out for removal.”

MGNWC told residents in an update that “large backhoes were used and the operation of that machine caused some vibrations to carry further from the site than anticipated …” The update also told neighbors to contact Mr. Hipps, if they had any questions.

Mr. Hipps told the RoundTable the neighbors need to submit claims to the contractor, and that the contractor or the contractor’s insurance company would decide whether any damage to homes was caused by the vibrations and if they would repair any of the damage. When asked who to contact about the status of the claim procedure, Mr. Hipps told the RoundTable to contact William Balling, who has served as Principal of MGNWC.

In an email on Nov. 23, the RoundTable asked Mr. Balling what the status of neighbors’ claims was and how MGNWC and the contractor plan to address the claims. Mr. Balling did not respond before this  paper went to press on Nov. 28.

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...