Philomath Public Works

The city of Philomath's $3.5 million water and sewer line replacement project scheduled to begin June 19 and continue for up to six months will tackle two primary goals.

Philomath Public Works Director Kevin Fear said several sections of old, crumbling 1952-era water and sewer lines will be replaced but also, the work will help the city prepare for the pending Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project.

"It looks like we'll be doing around 5,200 feet of sewer main line and another 3,600 feet of service laterals," Fear said. "So it's quite a chunk — almost a mile of sewer and we'll also be doing 7,850 feet of water line along there, too."

Urban Renewal Agency dollars will be used on projects in the downtown area on Main Street and Applegate Street between Seventh and 14th Street. The city awarded the bid to K&E Excavating out of Salem.

Residents and travelers will experience some impact with periodic lane and road closures weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be minimal closures during evening hours and on weekends.

Fear said K&E's apparent plan is to complete the project in sections instead of doing it all at once.

"From what it sounds like, their plan is they're going to do a couple of blocks at one time, get it put in, get it paved back and then move down (the road)," Fear said. "Instead of a long, long project or job site, it should be broken up a little bit better."

K&E plans to use "pipe bursting" on many of the sewer lines, Fear said.

"They pull a manhole and open up a big enough pit that they can pull a new pipe in behind and they just send a bursting head in and it breaks the old pipe and pulls the new one in behind it," Fear said. "Instead of having a traditional open trench all the way down the road, you only open up a bore pit in one place."

With the water line replacements, those are done completely through the open trench method, he added.

The total project cost includes $2,973,300.50 out of Urban Renewal funds and $553,809.50 out of the city's Capital Improvement Plan.

The water fund portion of the project includes upsizing a water line on North 12th Street from 4-inch pipe to 10-inch pipe. About 1,000 feet of pipe will go in from Lincoln Street to the northern terminus of North 12th Street. The city will also replace about 500 feet of sewer line on Main Street between 15th and 18th.

Fear said the Urban Renewal and Capital Improvement Plan projects were bid together so the city could get a better price.

K&E has 180 days to finish the project. Fear said the work could end earlier, but that oftentimes the full time is utilized because of unforeseen obstacles.

The contractor will have a full-time inspector on the job site.

"He'll be working to coordinate with business owners and homeowners and making sure they have access," Fear said.

For more specific information on the project, go to the city's website at www.ci.philomath.or.us.

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