By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Crews from Ferndale-based IMCO General Construction, which is handling the $16.7 million first phase of the combined sewer overflow, or CSO, project, will open a trench the length of Oak Street stretching from West Railroad Avenue to East Front Street to install new sewer and wastewater pipes.
“That whole sidewalk and those trees on the west side of Oak Street will be coming out,” said James Burke, the city’s CSO project manager.
The northbound lane, which is on the east side of Oak Street, will remain open to the alley.
Crews have until March 15 to complete the work along Oak Street and install a temporary driving surface, Burke said, adding that the permanent surface will be done as the esplanade project progresses.
The southbound lane will be completely closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, Burke said, while an 11-foot-wide section on the east side of Oak Street, in the northbound lane, will remain open for vehicle access to parking in the area and pedestrian access to West Railroad Avenue.
Once the street is dug up, IMCO crews will install sections of two 14-inch-wide and one 30-inch-wide pipe that will connect to the pipe already installed at the intersection of Oak Street and Railroad Avenue, Burke said.
These sections of pipe are just one piece of the city’s larger CSO project, which eventually will increase wastewater and sewer capacity between downtown Port Angeles and the city’s wastewater-treatment plant about a mile to the east.
The goal of the project, which the city has until 2016 to complete, is to cut the number of combined sewer overflows during heavy rain that send untreated stormwater and wastewater into Port Angeles Harbor.
Other portions of phase one of the CSO project include upgrades to the city’s wastewater-treatment plant and the installation of pipe along the former Rayonier Inc. mill site east of downtown Port Angeles leading to a 5 million-gallon tank that will store wastewater and stormwater until it can be treated and released into Port Angeles Harbor.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.