A $12 million sewer pipeline construction project that is expected to cause some major long-term traffic impacts, will begin in the spring.
The North Shore Sewer Transmission System Project will include the construction of 4.5 miles of dual force sewer line made of a combination of 6- and 8-inch fused plastic pipes. It will also feature three new pump stations and a pedestrian bridge.
When complete the project will serve the area north of Lacamas Lake, which according to City Administrator Pete Capell is expected to see residential, commercial and light industrial development during the next decade and beyond, depending on demand.
According to Camas Utilities Manager Sam Adams, planning and design work for the pipeline project is nearly complete.
“We are moving rapidly ahead on the final bid ready documents,” Adams told the City Council during a recent workshop. “Those will be done in early February. Right after that we will go out with a call for bids from contractors.”
The winning contract will be awarded in April. Construction is expected to begin in May, and take approximately one year.
City officials have also been working to acquire two easements that will be needed complete the project. They include a 22,000-square-foot temporary construction easement, and an 18,000-square-foot permanent easement.
Due to unsuccessful negotiations to purchase the property from owner Lacamas Creek Communities, the City Council recently approved the onset of a condemnation process.
The sewer transmission system project will begin at a pump station that will be built at Goodwin Road. It will then cross Camp Currie to a second pump station at 232nd Avenue. The line will continue down Leadbetter, where another pump station will be constructed on private property approximately one-quarter mile from the intersection of Evergreen and Leadbetter.
The Camp Currie pump station will feature enhanced landscaping.
“We want to keep that camp-feel still,” Adams said. “The camp managers wanted to see a little more shielding for that site.”
From Leadbetter, the line will cross the channel between Lacamas Lake and Round Lake via a new pedestrian bridge. The final sewer line connection will be at 18th Avenue and Franklin Street, where an improvement project was completed in 2016.
“During that construction we oversized the sewer line at Franklin to take on North Shore flows,” Adams said.
The concrete pedestrian bridge will be located 80 feet east of the existing traffic bridge on Everett Street. It will be 150-feet long, and 8.5-feet wide.
“It has been raised so it’s outside of the 100-year flood plain,” Adams said. “One thing that’s nice about this new pedestrian/pipe bridge is it’s [Americans With Disabilities Act] compliant. The current pedestrian bridge, along the existing traffic bridge, is not ADA compliant.”
According to Adams, at least one person has expressed concern that the new sewer line could present an environmental hazard to Lacamas Creek or Lacamas Lake, if there was a leak or break.
Adams said the pipeline is being designed with structural integrity, so the potential for any kind of spill is limited.
“Currently we have sewer lines going along the lake now at Lacamas Shores and Lake Road,” he said. “They have been operating for years with no troubles. Also, this pipeline is a pressure line, not a gravity line, so there are no manholes. The only open area where sewage could pour out would be at the pump stations, if the line got broken or cut.”
A secondary element of the project will be a 11,000-foot extension of a 12-inch waterline that will serve the future Lacamas Heights Elementary School.
According to Camas School District Project Manager Cathy Carlson, the construction of the new $44.6 million facility, located on Northeast Ninth Street, off of 232nd Avenue, will begin in June and is scheduled to be complete in August 2018.
The school district will pay $3 million, as part of an agreement with the city to install the water line extension, as well as sewer line and fiber conduit.
The massive overall $12 million sewer and water pipeline project is expected to present some challenges for commuters.
“Needless to say, construction is dirty and ugly,” Adams said. “We’re going to have a lot of construction impacts.”
According to Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall, the construction contract will include monetary incentives for the contractor, with the hope that this will move the project along more quickly. Some of those incentives would be tied to finishing portions of the work during the summer, when local schools are not in session, and completing the project early.
“We’ve got a lot of impacts to the public as we go through different phases of the project,” Wall said. “We don’t have to do these incentives, but as we talked about it with the project team we thought it was a good idea to help speed things up as much as we can, to help get the work done in the time frame that we want it done.”
Wall told the City Council that staff is planning extensive efforts to keep the community informed about the project.
“There is going to be lots of public outreach,” Camas Mayor Scott Higgins reiterated. “But at the end of the day, it’s going to be difficult at times to pass through. It will be disruptive.”