Roundup: Sanitary Sewer Overhaul to Affect Residents

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The second phase of rehabilitating the Crabtree Creek sanitary sewer system is expected to have a major impact on residents and businesses, according to a presentation made by public utilities staff.

At a cost of $30 million, crews will install 21,000 feet of sanitary sewer interceptor in the Crabtree Creek basin. Interceptor pipes are those that collect waste from smaller pipes and bring it downstream to the wastewater treatment plants.


Provided by City of Raleigh

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in April, just as the request for proposals are released for contractors for phase two. Phase two is expected to be completed in 2017.

Funding for the project will come mostly from utility fees, but about $17 million will be through a state loan program.

Councilors listened to an explanation of the project at their first work session meeting Tuesday.

The basin carries 20 million gallons of wastewater every day. More than 70 percent of the city’s sanitary sewer overflows happen in this basin, and the primary issue is lack of wet weather capacity. Although the city’s sanitary and stormwater systems are separate, rainwater often makes its way into the sanitary sewer lines. Heavy storms exacerbate the problem.

“Growth was a factor,” project manager Eileen Navarrete said of the project, “but growth was not the driver.”

Crews work on sewer lines in this photo used during a city presentation about the changes.

Photo provided by City of Raleigh.

Crews work on sewer lines in this photo used during a city presentation about the changes.

There are a number of areas where crews won’t be able to dig the 30-foot trenches needed to install the pipes, such as under Capital Boulevard, Wake Forest Road and the Beltline. Navarrete said the city will need to hire a second contractor who can use microtunnelling technology to tunnel in these areas.

While this project will impact the public in a number of ways, blasting, Navarrete said, was the biggest concern among the residents she spoke with at public meetings. To lessen the impact, Navarrete told Councilors the department is minimizing the strength of the blast that contractors will be allowed to use. Blasting mats will also be used to keep debris from flying into the air.

The Public Utilities Department will also be required to close lanes, streets and stretches of greenway during construction. The closures aren’t expected to happen until 2015; an exact timeframe hasn’t been determined.

One of the biggest roadway impacts will be at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Hodges Street, where an intersecting water line will have to be diverted so the sanitary sewer pipe can be installed. Public utilities staff are looking for ways to avoid closing down the entire intersection.

“Hodges Street is the only road we expect to close entirely,” wrote Navarrete in an follow-up email to the Record. “ It will be closed for two months so the microtunnel can be installed underneath the CSX railroad, and then the larger closure will last about six months, but will be a ‘rolling’ closure.”

Public utilities staff have already reached out to area businesses. Shoppers will still have access during that time.

To minimize the amount of easements the city would need, “we tried to utilize greenway and city property where ever we can,” Navarrete said. The downside to using public property is that portions of greenway will be temporarily closed.

The public communication effort will include public meetings, mailed notices to property owners within 1,500 feet of the project, social media and email campaigns, website updates, and door hangers. Informational and educational signs will be posted on the affected greenways.

The city will also offer public meetings with blasting experts, digital message boards, pre-blast surveys and YouTube videos.

Exploris Pulls Lease Request
Exploris Charter School officials have pulled a request to use the former Salvation Army building as the location for a temporary elementary school.

The old Salvation Army building sits across foperom Moore Square. The Salvation Army has moved to a new location on Capitol Boulevard.

Karen Tam / Raleigh Public Record

The old Salvation Army building sits across from Moore Square. The Salvation Army has moved to a new location on Capitol Boulevard.

The Budget and Economic Development Committee voted last week 3 to 1 against the lease because of unknown contaminants in the groundwater.

The full Council was due to vote at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane said staff is working with Exploris to find another suitable site.

Exploris Charter Middle School officials are hoping to expand and had eyed the former Salvation Army building near Moore Square as a temporary location.

The school is located on Hillsborough Street, but officials have been looking to make the move back to the area of its original Moore Square location.

Open Data Pilot Project
Raleigh will be collaborating with six other municipalities to design a sustainable marketplace — similar to Apple’s App Store — for applications using Open Government data.

Raleigh will be working with Albuquerque, N.M., Boston, Palo Alto, Calif., San Francisco and Nashville, Tenn.

Nicole Raimundo, of the City’s Information Technology Department, said an example of a shared app would be a parking application for smart phones.

“We could create one that could be used here, that could also be shared and then be used in San Francisco,” she said.

The program is being funded by Vanderbilt University through a grant from the National Science Foundation; no city funding is required.

Road Races
City Councilors approved the following road races. Residents can get more information about road races and street closures on the city’s website.

Race: Tap ‘n’ Run 4k
Location: Dixie Trail
Length: 4k
Date and Time: 3 p.m. March 29
Attendees: 1,800

Race: Glow Run 5k
Location: Park at North Hills
Length: 5k
Date and Time: 8:30 p.m. May 16
Attendees: 3,000

Race: Ramblin Rose Triathlon
Location: A.E. Finley YMCA
Date and Time: 8 a.m. May 18
Attendees: 600

Race: Sexy School Girl 5k
Location: Horne Street near Hillsborough Street
Length: 5k
Date and Time: 11 a.m. Aug. 9
Attendees: 1,500

Race: Nog Race sponsored by Tir Na Nog
Location: Blount Street
Length: Unspecified
Date and Time: 12 p.m. Oct. 18
Attendees: Unspecified

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