By DAVID GREEN
Current estimates show Fayette’s sewer project coming in below budget, however, bids won’t be sought until this summer.
Tim Harmsen of the Arcadis engineering firm told Fayette council members last week that $7 million is budgeted for the project, but current costs look to be nearly half a million dollars less.
“We haven’t bid the project yet to know what construction costs will be,” Harmsen said, “but that’s good news.”
Harmsen expects to advertise for bids in July, with construction possibly getting underway in late fall. If the project continues on schedule, completion should come by November 2013. There should be eight to nine months of “hard construction,” he said.
A few additional catch basins were found that connect to the sanitary system, Harmsen said, and they should be disconnected. Council should consider adding those to the project if funds are available. The budget includes about $600,000 for contingencies.
The project doesn’t include work on private property, Harmsen said, but Roberta Acosta of the Rural Community Assistance Program is working to obtain funding for low-to-moderate income owners.
In some cases, such as on Maple Street, the existing sewer line goes out the back of the house and will need to be brought to the front of the property.
There are back-yard sewers on some properties along Joan and George streets. The village attorney told Harmsen there is no record of an easement being given to the village and so the sewer lines should be considered private.
Those sewers will be left alone, Harmsen said, and only a storm sewer line will be installed under those streets.
Similarly, sewers in back of some Spring Street homes are considered private and will be left alone.
Easements need to be obtained for a few properties and the attorney will begin the acquisition process, which is expected to take a couple of months.
When construction is ready to begin, Harmsen said, the village will need an employee dedicated to determining the locations of the lateral sewer lines emerging from homes.
In some cases, the person will have to go into basements to see where the line exits. Harmsen suggested buying a push camera that would be inserted into a line at the house. A tracer device would track the location of the line out into the yard.
Harmsen submitted drawings to ODOT and learned the agency is very concerned about maintaining traffic flow. Sewer lines will be constructed on the north side of the road and connections from homes on the south side will be bored under the road. The cost difference between that and an open cut is not significant, Harmsen said.
No traffic detour will be allowed. Instead, the contractor will need to maintain traffic in one lane. ODOT will now wait until 2016 to repave U.S. 20 rather than 2014. This will allow soil below the road to settle.
Curbing will not be paid by ODOT, Harmsen learned. He said it was determined to replace curbing only to match the existing curb. For example, in areas where the curb does not currently show, new curb will not be constructed.
Harmsen advises the village to initiate a program to enforce the ordinance regarding roof drains emptying into sanitary lines. He knows of at least a dozen locations where this is used.
Harmsen said that typically a public meeting is scheduled for a project of this nature for a review of the work ahead.
“It’s going to be a difficult project,” Harmsen said. “There are a lot of unknowns. There are 100 years of sewers out there and we’re not sure where everything is. I’m sure we’re going to run into things we didn’t expect.”