Sewer main replacement to begin this fall

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SANDPOINT — While the majority of improvements scheduled under the first phase of the downtown revitalization project were nixed until next summer, a sewer main on First Avenue is still on track for replacement this fall.

The only bid received for construction of Cedar Street improvements between Second and Fifth avenues came in about 25 percent over the cost estimated by Century West Engineering staff, the company contracted by the city to design the project. Century West recommended the city reject the bid due to available funding for the project, and in May, City Council members agreed and voted to put the work off until next year.

The sewer main replacement was separated from the original project and re-bid. During last week's City Council meeting, council members approved a bid by Earthworks Northwest, Inc., for the sewer replacement at a cost of $515,804. Ryan Luttmann, city public works director, said when he compared the current bid with the previous project bid rejected by council, there was a "significant savings" of about $325,000 for the sewer replacement project.

"I believe that was a good decision and why I feel we have a better project bid moving forward, looking at that revitalization opportunity by replacing the sewer now," Luttmann said.

"By replacing the sewer now, what this means is next spring we are still on track to re-bid what's already designed for Cedar from Fifth to Second."

The sewer main replacement will likely begin in late August or early September with an 85-day time frame for completion. Without the contractor's schedule, Luttmann said he was unsure of the exact dates. The project will require closing the street during the replacement, so detours will be in place, which is why the city and Century West staff originally scheduled the replacement to occur after major events, such as the Festival at Sandpoint.

After the Cedar Street improvements next spring, another sewer replacement in the fall of 2018 will serve as an extension of the upcoming project, beginning on First Avenue and Church Street and continuing up First and around the corner on Cedar to Second Avenue, Luttmann said.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee. 

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