Collapse of sewer trunk line spurred $7.8 million monthslong project
Sunday, Mar 11 2007 9:25 PM|
Last Updated: Sunday, Mar 11 2007 9:27 PM
If your daily ramblings take you along East Brundage Lane, you've no doubt noticed a massive project that's ripped open more than a mile of roadway east of Union Avenue.
The city is replacing four miles of antique sewer trunk line -- vintage 1912 -- that collapsed in December 2005, said Jack LaRochelle, Bakersfield's assistant director of public works.
When finished, new pipes will stretch below Brundage from Mount Vernon Avenue to L Street, then jog north under L to California Avenue.
The old system's collapse at Mount Vernon and Brundage about a year ago Christmas prompted replacement of the whole line, LaRochelle said.
The $7.8 million effort kicked off Oct. 16 and is expected to be finished around midsummer, said Conchita Walker of public works' engineering division. So far, a strip from Mount Vernon to the west of Washington Street is finished, she said.
These days, crews from Griffith Co. work a 1.3-mile-long dirt span running down the center of East Brundage.
The action should delight any construction junkie -- especially kids in the tractors-are-cool phase -- even as it frustrates motorists.
Tuesday afternoon, for example, utility workers labored neck-deep in a gouge at East Brundage and Cottonwood Road. They'll temporarily relocate gas lines and other equipment to make room as crews replace the sewer trunk line around them.
Overhead, the traffic light blinked red as drivers at the busy intersection rolled tentatively through a confusing jumble of cones. A water truck made regular passes up and down East Brundage, taming loose dirt with its twin spray.
Richard Nicholson, one of Griffith's employees, mixed grout in a bucket to apply to a new manhole west of the intersection. Near Union, rows of long pipe awaited deployment.
Pipe diameters run 36 inches to 42 inches, said LaRochelle. The PVC pipes -- polyvinyl chloride, a type of hard plastic through which sewage flows easily -- are encased in concrete, he said, which provides a solid structural barrier.
The city has another major sewer project slated to break ground in a few weeks, LaRochelle said.
A 6-foot diameter trunk line to serve all of northeast Bakersfield will be planted mostly under currently unbuilt roads on its way to treatment plant No. 2, located north of Planz Road and west of Mount Vernon. The so-called "northeast interceptor" project will ring at around $16 million to $20 million, LaRochelle said.
Both projects are being paid with city sewer fee money, he said.