Work to begin this summer; full scope is not yet decided

Crescent City has begun the bidding process for a major sewer project on 2nd Street that is scheduled to begin this summer.

The City Council on Monday unanimously authorized city staff to advertise and receive bids for the project, which will replace an existing 18-inch clay pipe with a 24-inch pipe made of high-density polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.

The city plans to use a $1.28 million Community Development Block Grant to pay for the project, said Public Works Director Eric Wier. The project is expected to begin after July 4.

The existing pipe that was installed under 2nd Street following the 1964 tsunami is one of two major sewer collection lines that serve the Crescent City area, Wier said. The line connects to another pipe under B Street, which leads to the wastewater treatment plant.

But after nearly 50 years, city workers have noticed sink holes appearing along 2nd Street. The clay pipe is extremely brittle and is easily broken, Wier said. The Public Works Department has had to repair sink holes using gravel before they are repaved, he said.

"That gravel has ended up at the treatment plant," Wier said. "This is telling us that the line has been compromised."

The contractor working on this project will have the option of replacing the pipe using a "cut and cover" method or a trenchless method, Wier said. The "cut and cover" method involves digging up the street to replace the pipe. The existing line could be used as a sewer bypass while the new pipe is being installed, but the city would have to repave the street, Wier said.

The trenchless method involves drilling the old pipe out while installing the new pipe, Wier said. If the trenchless method is used, the city would have to install a sewer bypass to provide sewer service during the project. This could cost roughly $200,000, he said.

Because of its complexity, the project is being divided into four components, which include a base project and three alternatives, according to the staff report. The base project replaces the sewer mainline and laterals along 2nd Street from B to G streets.

The first alternative extends the project to H Street, according to the staff report. The second alternative extends it further to I Street, and the third extends the project to K Street. The second and third alternates involve repairing the line under the old Tsunami Landing area downtown, Wier said.

The cost to build the new line from B to G streets is estimated to be about $1.01 million and would take about 40 working days, Wier said. Extending the line to K Street could cost the city about $1.75 million and would take an additional 40 working days, according to the staff report.

If city does approve extending the new sewer line to K Street, Wier said the project could conflict with Sea Cruise, a car show held each October. But he noted that much of the activity during the car show is on 3rd Street and at Beachfront Park.

The contractor will be required to provide weekly updates on the project schedule and possible street closures, Wier said. If the project does affect Tsunami Landing, the contractor will notify businesses in the area, he said.

Schellong advised Wier to let business owners know about the project and how it could affect them.

Wier said the city is hoping to receive construction bids on June 10 and will take the project back to the City Council for final approval on June 17.

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