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Iron Mike reinstallation begins

Fountain may not be installed until next year

Work on the Iron Mike fountain reinstallation in downtown Oregon began this week. 

Martin construction was on the site near the Ogle County Courthouse on Monday excavating in the new spot inside the sidewalk. Project Manager Mike Bowers said the fountain itself likely won’t be installed until the spring. 

Bowers said the brick work likely won’t be done until next year. Iron Mike will be stored by the street department over the winter. 

“The good thing about this is the water-sewer trench going through the freeze/thaw cycle will settle the backfill even more therefore reducing the chance of settling after the bricks are installed,” Bowers said in an email. “We will install roadrock wedges at the edges of all the sidewalks so there won’t be any drop-offs.”

COVID-19 delayed work after the statue was removed over last winter to be cleaned before it can be moved further away from the road. Concerns came when car accidents almost hit the fountain, installed in 1901. 

The decades-old fountain will be placed with old paving bricks.

Iron Mike has three drinking levels, one for dogs, one for horses and one for people.

The landscaping around it will be done by the city and county once it’s reinstalled. 

The fountain was cleaned, sandblasted and repainted by ED Etnyre. It currently resides in the street department garage.

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