Cost of fixing leaky Port Angeles landfill might increase by $1.2 million
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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City Utility Advisory Committee members have recommended that the City Council approve a $1.2 million contract amendment with Seattle-based Herrera Environmental Consultants to begin designing a way to fix the city's unstable and closed dump.
The amendment, recommended for approval Tuesday at the committee's regular meeting, would increase the city's professional services agreement with Herrera to $1.56 million.
The project is intended to prevent a severely eroding, 135-foot-tall bluff in west Port Angeles from breaking through and releasing tons of garbage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The City Council — members of whom sit on the Utility Advisory Committee — will consider approving the contract amendment at the council's meeting Tuesday.
It begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers in City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.
“We really don't have time to wait,” City Engineering Manager Kathryn O'Neal told Utility Advisory Committee members.
Herrera has estimated the total project will cost $15.4 million.
Meanwhile, the city has estimated costs for waste removal and shoreline protection could range from $6 million to $41 million.
Off-site disposal would raise the cost to
$70 million, according to a report contained in the committee's agenda packet.
“These costs do not reflect the ability to obtain permits, project phases, the longevity of the solution or the ability to obtain financing,” the report said.
Permitting for the project, which O'Neal said will be “extensive,” could occur in 2014, she said.
Project funding is available from the city's landfill post-closure fund, which currently has $3.55 million.
Municipal revenue bonds also will be needed to replenish the fund, along with adjustments to city transfer-station tipping fees, O'Neal added.
Municipal revenue bonds are paid back with revenue rather than taxes.
In her report to the committee, O'Neal described waste relocation at the landfill as “a managed retreat from the most at-risk areas of the landfill along the bluff.”
About 265,000 cubic yards of solid waste piled up in the northern 150 feet of what is called the 304 East Cell will be relocated to a new landfill cell of similar capacity and covered, O'Neal said.
“Waste removal is in response to the shoreline penetration into the 304 cell,” she said.
Solid-waste removal will extend west along the central-north portion of the landfill and include a small section of the Valley Cell.
The landfill's 351 cell will be reopened to allow the piling of the 265,000 cubic yards of waste on top.
A second element of the project is upgrading and repairing the seawall at the base of the landfill.
The shoreline habitat will be restored using woody debris in nearby Dry Creek.
“This will prevent both intrusion behind the seawall from both wave action along the shore as well as potential Dry Creek erosion and impacts along the side and behind the seawall,” O'Neal said in her report.
“This work is important to prevent scouring behind the seawall, which would expose the Valley and West 304 cells to toe erosion and a premature failure.
“This will provide long-term resolution for these eventualities.”
Rip rap or concrete armoring will protect the seawall ends, she added.
The contract amendment covers Phase 1 of two phases of the project.
Phase 1 lasts through July and will include the start-up of permitting for the landfill and shoreline work.
Design development accounts for $797,281 of the contract amendment.
It covers 30 percent of the conceptual design of the landfill alterations and 30 percent of seawall end protection and Dry Creek conceptual design.
The amendment also calls for $217,171 to be spent on permit development and applications, and $15,000 for public outreach.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: March 14. 2013 6:29PM