Loan money could repair the river wall | Local News
TRAVERSE CITY – Millions of loan money could fund the repair of a failing river wall and the relocation of a large sewer line perched on its foundation.
Traverse City has qualified for the first year of its five-year plan to borrow up to $ 27.5 million in loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, said city director of municipal utilities Art Krueger. That means the city is expected to get up to $ 2.8 million for the project that would move the main one between Union and Cass streets.
“There’s only room to do that in the first block between Union and Cass,” Krueger said. “The sewer will probably have to stay on the wall between Cass and Park streets. “
The plan is to build a sheet pile wall under the water and in front of the footing of the current wall, then use mortar to fill the void created by the water undermining the footing between Cass and Park streets.
River currents and rising Lake Michigan waters have carved out the wall along the Boardman River between Union Street and Park Street, as previously reported. It could pose a hazard to the main sewer line that sits at the top of the footing, if the footing moves and damages the pipe.
There is no specific timeline for when the work will start, Krueger said. The city is still working with consultants on a design for the relocation.
And plans for the river wall between Union and Cass streets are not final, Krueger said. They are part of the Lower Boardman River Unified Plan, which the city’s downtown development authority has nearly completed.
Jean Derenzy, CEO of DDA, said the plan so far is to remove the river wall in this block, along with a few parking spots, and create more of a square frame. The subcommittee working on the river plan between Lake Boardman and Lake Michigan aims to be completed by November and bring it to the DDA Board of Directors this month or December.
Engineering and design plans for the Cass-to-Union block are expected to begin in early 2022, Derenzy said. This is another chance to give your opinion on the idea.
Derenzy said removing parking spaces will be part of an overall strategy to make better use of the lots currently occupied by surface parking, including redeveloping other lots around the city center. This strategy calls for managing parking with a ramp in the western end of downtown – currently on hold as the city and DDA identify ways to pay for it.
“It can’t be one without the other, to get to a better place we know we have to be able to stack these cars and make better use of our land,” she said.
As part of the five-year plan of the State Revolving Fund for the sanitation of the city’s water, $ 14.5 million is devoted to the revision of the stages of pretreatment of the regional wastewater treatment plant. of Traverse City, Krueger said.
One aspect would be to build new settling tanks, which would eliminate the need for a huge piece of plumbing called a main manifold, Krueger said. The age, aggravated by the corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas, has deteriorated the main manifold, and if it were to leak, it could damage the electrical equipment in the pipe gallery that houses it.
Krueger said the city is considering an option to wrap the main manifold in an epoxy coating for around $ 120,000. This should save about three to five years to plan either its replacement – at around $ 500,000 – or the projects to make it unnecessary.
“So it’s much more important to replace it, and if we do replace it we might not need it in a few years, so it’s not a good wise investment,” he said. “We are therefore looking towards this more temporary solution in the short term.”
The Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, which administers the revolving fund, reviews projects and determines eligibility each year, Krueger said. It is therefore possible that the city will not be eligible for a loan for the remaining years of its five-year plan.
That would mean the city would have to borrow by issuing municipal bonds to finance the work, which would result in a higher interest rate, Krueger said. Higher interest rates would translate into larger rate increases for customers.
Traverse City could also borrow up to $ 14.7 million for a five-year plan to upgrade the city’s drinking water treatment plant and distribution system, Krueger said. He is still waiting to see if the city will qualify for the first year of this plan.
The projects would include several upgrades to the processing plant, including all new valves, new electrical switches and upgrades to the Wayne Hill booster station, Krueger said.
The loans would also replace any galvanized steel service lines that may have been connected to the water lines with lead goosenecks, Krueger said.
Recent changes to the state’s lead and copper rule, made in the wake of the Flint water crisis, treat these pipes like lead, as lead particles may have settled in. inside, as previously indicated.
Krueger said contractors found these galvanized steel service lines while replacing the city’s water meters, and so far about 14% of the city’s roughly 7,400 service lines need to be replaced.
MILLIONS OF PROJECTS
Krueger spoke about loans to city commissioners during a larger update on major progress on the to-do list of the city’s capital improvement program.
The city will spend nearly $ 32 million on infrastructure projects in 2021, including $ 24 million on current projects, city engineer Tim Lodge told commissioners. The city typically spends $ 4-6 million in any given year.
Highlights include work on four bridges – new decks for the Eighth and Park Street bridges, a redesign of the South Cass Street bridge and the total replacement of the West Front Street bridge, Lodge said. And the city, with a grant from the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, is replacing three culverts on Sixth Avenue and Cedar Street.
The city also completed a Michigan Department of Transportation funded roundabout on the Parsons and Airport Access roads, the final year of a multi-year sidewalk improvement project, and even more walkways for Safe Routes to School, Lodge said. And construction is underway on the final leg of the Boardman Lake Trail, from Northwestern Michigan College’s academic center to Medalie Park.