Final stages for North Suffolk project

Published 11:45 pm Friday, February 7, 2014

The second phase of a water and sewer mains project in the communities of Crittenden and Eclipse would mean approximately 150 new connections, the city’s public utilities director says.

Al Moor said phase 2 had been under construction since the start of November. Phase 1 — “the front half” — was completed about six years ago, he added.

“This brings in water and sewer improvements,” Moor said. “(It’s) upgrading old mains and tying in some existing residences.”

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The project was also providing sanitary sewerage to the area with installation of gravity mains and two new sewer pump stations, he said.

Phase 2 would cost about $7.3 million, Moor said. And while an 18-month construction period was anticipated, he said the work should be done by early next year.

“Once done, we will be restoring all the roadways and repaving,” he said. “With the wet weather and snow we’ve had, and the narrow roads, it’s a difficult neighborhood project.”

A contractor will be working on the project between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to a city announcement.

During construction, flagging operations will take place on Wigneil, Vine, Pike and Cross streets, Rivershore, Eclipse and Bleakhorn drives, and Dixon and Darden Clubhouse roads.

“We obviously appreciate the residents’ patience as we do construction, and we will try (our) best to minimize impacts.” Moor said. “But during wintertime, it’s difficult with the weather.”

A city staff inspector would be on the project fulltime, Moor said, adding, “Multiple crews will be working on different sections of the project at one time.”

The project is going ahead after residents endorsed it in a 2002 petition. As part of the petition process, Moor said, they agreed to charges totaling $1,305 — after an environmental incentive reimbursement — which they could opt to pay off over five years, with interest and a $250 down payment.

Property owners qualifying for the city’s Tax Abatement Program would receive the same interest percentage off their charges, he added.

Residents with septic tanks would have to disconnect them and connect to the new city system to receive the environmental reimbursement, according to Moor, and it was recommended they pump out their tanks.

Due to the elevation of their homes, some residents would require a private grinder pump to connect to the city system, Moor said, adding that the code leaves these folks the option not to connect.