Middletown to plan next project in $269M work mandated by EPA

Middletown is expected to soon approve the next project in the city’s efforts to comply with EPA-ordered upgrades to its systems for untreated sewage and overflows.

On Tuesday, council is expected move forward on the next project as part of the Long Term Control Plan with the Lakeside Redirection Project that will authorize the acting city manager to enter into a progressive design-build agreement with Ulliman Schutte, LLC. The Lakeside Redirection project was identified as a way to reduce the storm water flow into the combined sewer system from the Lakeside drainage area, according to Scott Tadych, city public works and utilities director.

Tadych said the first phase of the project could cost up to $996,430 for design and pre-construction services. He said funds have already been appropriated in the 2020 Sewer Capital Reserve Fund for this project. The actual construction will be done during the second phase that is estimated to cost between $10 million and $12 million.

“The bulk of the project will be 2021 during the construction phase,” he said.

Tadych said much of the design work will be done this year and the earliest construction could begin would be in the fourth quarter of 2020.

He said the first phase of the proposed project will collect storm water from the 291-acre drainage area through a new trunk sewer estimated at 3,500 feet in length and 36 inches in diameter that will start on Bexley Drive, just east of Raymond Drive. The preliminary route has the line following Ellen Drive to Armco Drive where a storm water pump station will be located.

Tadych said the preliminary route for the proposed sewer line will head another 5,500 feet through an 18-inch pipe from the pump station, the storm sewer will go north under the rail tracks to Enoch Drive, then west on Wildwood Drive to Tytus Avenue. The sewer line will head northwest on Germantown Road, then head west in to a force main along Erie Avenue to the outlet to the Hydraulic Canal near Smith Park and the Middletown Regional Airport, he said.

Streets affected by the construction project will be repaved curb to curb upon completion, he said.

Tadych said six companies submitted their qualifications for the project and following a city selection committee review, the candidates were narrowed to three and were interviewed by the committee. He said Ulliman Schutte, LLC was the highest scoring firm and was selected to enter into negotiations for pre-construction services.

He said city staff will seek an authorization to begin the second phase, which will include a guaranteed maximum price, by late summer 2020. Tadych said substantial completion including operation of the pump station is required by the end of 2021 to remain in compliance with the EPA consent decree. Any project delays is subject to stipulated penalties of up to $2,500 per day.

Tadych said work on the project in Sunset Park is nearly completed and will have the new playground equipment and planting of grass done this spring. A ceremonial re-opening of the park is tentatively planned for May.

The $2.71 million project includes constructing a storm sewer to intercept a portion of the flow from the Bulls Run stream where it enters the combined sewer system near the intersection of Sheldon Road and Santa Fe Drive.

City officials said the intercepted flow from the drainage area will be redirected to an approximately one-acre regional green infrastructure retention basin located at Sunset Park, reducing storm water loading to the combined sewer system. The new features are designed to not detract from the park’s character.

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