Digging in

Sanitary sewer excavations near Swift Lake Monday morning caught the attention of a group of Canada Geese.

Long-awaited Phase One construction underway

By Seth Schmidt

Excavations for the long-delayed “Phase One” infrastructure improvements in Tracy have begun.
Crews with Duininck Inc., the project’s general contractor, began installing the new sanitary sewer outlet that will extend to the city’s new wastewater settlement ponds northeast of the city airport.   Excavations began last week between Swift Lake Park and the city’s existing sewage lagoons.  Work is expected to proceed southwesterly toward Fourth St. East and Circle Drive, where in-town excavations are expected to begin the first week in May.
About 12 blocks of streets and alleys in northeast Tracy will be affected by Phase One infrastructure improvements. New sanitary sewer, water mains, and storm sewer lines will be installed.  Streets will be torn up and rebuilt with new curb and gutter.
The underground work will also install storm water interceptor lines from the new storm sewer to all individual properties.  Property owners who need to connect drainage lines from their houses to the sump pump hubs, can do so at their own expense.
All storm water drainage lines that are improperly connected to the sanitary sewer will be disconnected. City ordinances do not allow seasonal sump pump discharges to the sanitary sewer for homes where sump pump stubs are available.
The infrastructure improvements are designed to eliminate drainage water inflows into the sanitary sewer system.  Tracy has long been plagued with an overloaded sanitary sewer system during heavy periods of storm water run-off  that occur after big rains or rapid snow melts. The overloaded system has at times  resulted in sewage backups in low-lying basements at the end of the system.
Another objective of Phase One construction is the disconnection of a large sewer that runs northeast from   Central Park to Circle Drive.  The sewer, which follows the natural drainage topography, has long stretches across private property.  The completed sewer construction will bring all utilities within public right-of-way, along or underneath streets.

Construction areas
Streets and alleys involved in the construction include:
• Park St. between Emory and Elm.
• 1.5 blocks of Emory, between Second and First St. East streets.
• North-south alley between Center St. and First St. East streets.
• East Hollett between First St. Alley and Fourth St. East.
• First St. East, 150 feet south from Hollett St.
• Second St. East from East Hollett intersection, to 200 feet north of Long Green Lane.
• Long Green Lane.
• Fourth St. East between Hollett St. E. and Circle Drive.
• Circle Drive.
• Summit Avenue.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.