Mayor Jeff Banyas is expected to execute a nearly $3.9 million construction contract at tonight’s City Commission meeting with Thomas Construction Co. for the Downtown Brush Creek Sanitary Sewer Interceptor Project — a low bid approved by commissioners Nov. 3.
The project is not part of the city’s long-term stormwater plan. It is a bond-funded replacement of aging sewer line that will take place mainly west of the railroad tracks downtown that run north and south. The existing interceptor will remain in operation with the new line serving as a substantial supplement, said Tom Witherspoon, Water and Sewer Services director.
An interceptor is a large-diameter sewer designed to catch flow in a large geographic area.
“The new line, which will increase capacity, is captured from the East Tennessee State University/Johnson City Medical Center area and will flow to the Brush Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant,” Witherspoon said. “Johnson City’s Tysinger Hampton & Partners already has performed the engineering, and this (contract) is the result of that design and the approval of that design. These areas are served by two major wastewater interceptors which converge into a single line in the downtown area. The present line serving this is undersized and in need of replacement, especially in conjunction with the proposed drainage improvements in the area.”
Expected to begin in mid-December and take nearly a year to complete, the project was identified in a 2008 study as a priority for the city. The existing sanitary sewer interceptor along Buffalo Street was one of the lines with capacity issues, Witherspoon said. A 2006 evaluation showed portions of the line were running at nearly full capacity during dry weather periods.
“The existing interceptor at the east side of Buffalo Street will not be disturbed,” he said. “Its condition is acceptable; it’s the capacity that we’ll be improving.”
The project route runs to the west of the railroad tracks downtown and follows East King, North Commerce and Lamont streets. It will include the placement of more than 3,600 feet of 42-inch interceptor, more than 270 feet of 30-inch interceptor, 2,400 feet of 12-inch waterline, 22 manholes and extensive railroad work and permitting.
Commissioners also will consider a first reading of a request by Coal Yard Restoration LLC to rezone just more than 1.5 acres at 1150 W. State of Franklin Road from I-2 (Heavy Industrial) to B-3 (Supporting Central Business) to construct a 56-unit apartment development.
If approved, the B-3 zoning would allow 60 dwelling units with a maximum density of 35 units per acre. The site is impacted by the Brush Creek flood plain and will require the developer to adhere to the city’s floodplain and stormwater detention regulations.