Part of the East Feeder Water Line is going to be replaced this year, but Coun. Brian Swanson maintains it’s not enough.
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Coun. Brian Swanson talks about the first phase of the East Feeder Water Line replacement at the June 23, 2014 council meeting.
“It needs to be done. It’s urgent. We are short in our capital budget,” he said. “It’s like the cast iron water lines. It’s not an option that you get to have … This is an urgent requirement that is essential to the functioning of the city.”
At Monday’s council meeting, councillors approved awarding the construction contract to KMS Consturction Ltd for the replacement of 650 meters of the line from the intersection of First Avenue Southeast and Lilloeet Street to the intersection of Second Avenue East and Manitoba Street as the first phase of the project. The cost is $2.94 million.
The 54-year-old steel feeder line runs 4.2 kilometers from the High Service Reservoir to the intersection of First Avenue Southeast and Lilloeet Street East. It feeds potable water from the reservoir to the east side of South Hill. Swanson said the capital budget for the project is $6.7 million.
“This tender swallows 44 per cent of that cost but only covers 15 per cent of the water line,” said Swanson. “Although it’s mentioned this is the more difficult component, we’re still going to be significantly short in our budget for this.”
The work will begin shortly and is expected to finish by the end of 2014.
“It’s a critical section that has failed with considerable frequency over the last few years as it’s an aging line,” said Ty Stokes, the city’s engineering director. “It’s got some known leaks, one of which is very visible and has gotten slightly worse in the last several months although it has been leaking to some degree for a couple years now.
“Really it’s not bandaidable but the only solution to it is to do a complete line replacement.”
The project was tendered three times in 2013 to replace the “most deteriorated” section from the intersection of First Avenue Southeast and Lilloeet Street to the intersection of Third Avenue Northeast and Athabasca Street, said an engineering department report.
The city received only one bid that was higher than the budgeted amount for the first and second calls for tender. Two bids were received for the third tender call but were still higher than the budgeted amount.
The city decided to reduce the project length from 1,700 meters to 650 meters. A single bid was received with a price of $3.25 million including contingency. It was negotiated down to $2.94 million by eliminating one air releasae valve, one 600-millimeter (mm) butterfly valve, three 150-mm gate valves and a reduced contingency amount. There will be a seven per cent continengy allowance.
“In the report there’s a line that says in case that this line bursts residents of the east side of the South Hill area would be without water until that segment is replaced,” said Coun. Heather Eby. “I think that is very telling of how urgent this is.”
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