City’s Board of Directors Examines Major Infrastructure Project | New

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BLUEFIELD – A major infrastructure project replacing a sewer line established in the 1930s is an opportunity presented to Bluefield’s board of directors on Tuesday for funding for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Using a Powerpoint presentation, Director Shannon Bailey of the Bluefield Sanitary Board addressed City Council via video and described a sewer replacement project for the College Avenue area. The area’s main sewer line serves more than 3,273 homes and businesses in Bluefield.

“Everyone’s sewage flows through that section of pipe,” Bailey said. “This pipe handles well over 600,000 gallons and it’s just a normal, dry day, sewage through it. Of course, the cost of failure would be very, very high if that line were to collapse completely. It would be a hell of a mess and a bad situation for everyone. This part of College Avenue, as you well know, is very busy. ”

This line was installed in the early 1930s, and it’s starting to show signs of failure along College Avenue, Bailey said. Several “problem areas” and “hot spots” were observed around the system. The pipe, which “is an old earthen pipe”, is a main artery for the flow of sewers.

The health council has already contracted for the design work and will be ready to bid within the next two months. This design work and tendering will be paid from current sewer tariffs, which will maximize ARP money to be used only for construction, he said.

“We’re probably going to have to bid within a month or two if possible,” Bailey said. “The project consists of just over 2,000 linear feet of 18-inch PCP pipe under the road. “

The cost of the project includes repaving College Avenue 140 feet across the state border up to 10 feet past the intersection of College Avenue and Golf Street, according to Bailey’s submission. This paving cost includes the total cost of milling that section from curb to curb and new asphalt.

Including the possible increase in costs due to the COVID pandemic, the estimated cost is around $ 1.5 million, Bailey said. The project will serve an area extending from College Avenue to the culmination of Cumberland Road and Union Street.

“We’re always reviewing our plans for our Best Bang for the Buck approach,” Bailey said. “It’s a huge line, a big project for us to get.”

Without $ 1.5 million in the bank to fund the project, one would have to bid in two phases if the ARPA money is not used to help fund it, Bailey said. With this funding, it could be done in one phase.

City Manager Cecil Marson said ARPA money could potentially be used to scale up the sewer replacement project, which would serve about 3,300 residents, and do it “all at once.”

“The board hasn’t made a decision on this, but that’s the kind of thing we’re looking at; but ARPA funding is specifically earmarked for this type of large infrastructure, wastewater and stormwater-like activities, ”Marson said. “Of course, there are other parts of the city that we are looking at as well. This is just one example, but College Avenue is a major thoroughfare. It is a gateway to the city. I’m talking to the interim city manager of Bluefield, VA as this could affect their area as well. And this is a project that we are reviewing. We will have feedback from the community.

The City of Bluefield is currently asking city residents and people who have lived in Bluefield to share their idea of ​​spending the $ 4.2 million the city will receive in ARPA funding. These suggestions can be shared using a questionnaire.

The city has an American Rescue Plan Act Community Feedback Questionnaire, available on the city’s website at www.cityofbluefield.com. Once there, navigate to Our Community, then ARPA Survey. The survey is also available on the city’s Facebook page.

Contact Greg Jordan at [email protected]


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