First stormwater projects ready for bids

Parkersburg City Councilman Mike Reynolds, left, listens as city Engineer Adam Stout makes a presentation on stormwater projects during a committee meeting Tuesday in the executive conference room at the Municipal Building. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — With funding in place, city officials are preparing to put the first round of stormwater projects out to bid.

Parkersburg City Engineer Adam Stout updated the city’s Stormwater Committee during a Tuesday evening meeting, saying eight projects to reline storm sewer pipes are expected to be advertised for bids this week. That includes lines on Cameron Avenue, two sections of 26th Street, at 12th Avenue and Hillcrest Street, 23rd Street, the 34th Street pump station and Hamilton Middle School.

All those were previously identified, but Stout said an additional project on 20th Street was added so it can tie in with plans to build a retention system near Washington Avenue.

“I need the pipe that’s there, and I want to make sure it’s stable and it’ll last for a long time,” he said.

The lining projects were previously estimated to cost approximately $263,000. Stout said an estimate for the additional work on 20th Street was not immediately available Tuesday.

The retention system is part of the second phase of stormwater projects. It will provide 7,045 cubic feet of storage underground, enough to hold 52,700 gallons or 33 fully loaded concrete trucks’ worth of water during heavy rain events, Stout said.

City Councilman Jeff Fox asked if the city needed to do core drilling to determine if the ground was suitable for that type of storage. Stout said the ground in that area is “pure sand.

“You couldn’t have a more ideal place to have a retention system,” he said.

The top of the retention system will be located a foot-and-a-half below the footers of nearby houses to prevent any negative impact on surrounding property, Stout said.

Other projects in the second phase, all of which are expected to be bid separately, include the installation of 250 feet of piping near Pat Cataan’s in the Park Shopping Center and a drainage system on 30th Street, replacement of a collapsed drain pipe on the Ohio side of the Memorial Bridge and rerouting the drainage system in the area of Gladstone Street.

The projected cost of that phase is $467,000.

The city had $116,000 budgeted in the stormwater contractual services line item and $165,800 for supplies. Council recently approved a budget revision to move $534,041 from the carryover from fiscal year 2017-18 to fund the rest of the projects.

Stout said he hopes some of the bids come in under budget so the additional money can go toward future projects, particularly running cameras through and cleaning existing storm sewer lines. City officials hope to contract with the Parkersburg Utility Board to get the ball rolling on that but eventually want the city to get its own vactor truck to do the job regularly.

Councilman Dave McCrady said the city will also need to add two positions so employees can regularly operate that equipment.

“If we’re going to go after it, we’ve got to go after it the right way,” he said.

The committee also discussed efforts to educate residents about the city code prohibition against raking leaves into the street, which can block storm drains.