Ishpeming awaits final approval for $16M of sewage line replacement project
The proposed construction will replace about 25,000 feet of sewer mains.
ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - New improvements to Ishpeming’s aging sewer pipes are on the horizon.
Plans are entering their final stage of approval after the city received a large grant.
The city says its sewage pipes are anywhere from 40 to 90 years old. The proposed construction will replace about 25,000 feet of sewer mains.
“A lot of the aging infrastructure like the sanitary sewers that are cracked have a lot of infiltration from tree roots. These are old, aged pipes,” said Bill Anderson, Ishpeming Department of Public Works General Foreman.
The city will implement a “dig once” policy when going underground. Ishpeming received more than $16 million in funding, half of which is grant money from the American Rescue Plan.
“$8 million of that is in a true grant, no cost to residents. The other $8 million is on a 30-year loan at a 1.875 loan rate,” said Craig Cugini, Ishpeming City Manager.
Cugini said the proposed improvements will decrease the stress on the Ishpeming Wastewater Treatment Facility, with less groundwater seeping into the plant.
“We believe that the cost of the reductions of groundwater into the plant will also be put towards the cost of the additional loan,” Cugini said. “Overall, we believe it won’t be any real, if any, increased pricing to residents.”
“The main issue is when you get a massive snowmelt or rainfall event, all of those cracks in the side of the pipes will allow water to infiltrate into the pipe, which is a big burden on the wastewater treatment plant. It can overwhelm the plant sometimes,” Anderson said.
Cugini said the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) needs to approve the project. Then, the city will release which roads will be dug up.
Cugini expects this project to take at least a year and hopes digging will begin come spring.
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