Rebuilt just a year ago and made to look distinctive, the intersection of Albany’s Water Avenue and Hill Street will have to be torn up shortly. But then it’s supposed to be restored, with those reddish pavers, to the way it looks now.
Markings on the pavement show where Pacific Excavation, the contractor building a sewer main and pump station, will have to dig the trench to bury the pipe.
The same thing will happen at the Water Avenue intersection with Jackson Street, also styled with pavers when it was rebuilt some years ago for the construction of the riverside Wheelhouse office building.
I asked City Engineer Staci Belcastro about this.
“Yes,” she replied in an email, “a portion of the raised intersections on Water Avenue at Hill Street and Jackson Street will need to be removed and replaced to facilitate construction of the sewer forcemain. Pacific Excavation will remove and then re-use the pavers. Trench construction is similar except the contractor will re-use the pavers to provide surface restoration through the raised intersections; outside the raised intersections the contractor will need to place new concrete and asphalt.”
The Hill Street intersection was rebuilt in 2018 by the developer of the Edgewater Village subdivision. Belcastro explained that at the time, design of the new sewer line had not yet been done.
“Staff evaluated the feasibility of burying a steel casing underneath Hill Street to avoid having to trench through the intersection when the sewer forcemain was constructed,” she wrote. “However, the decision was made to not install the steel casing because design of the vertical alignment was not known at the time. Installing a fixed point would restrict the vertical alignment of the sewer line. Design of the vertical alignment for the forcemain is critical to avoid installation of additional air-vacuum release valves, which are expensive to install and maintain, and is also important to facilitate draining the line when it’s not in service.”
Engineers call it a “forcemain” because the material in it is pumped to the treatment plant rather than flowing because of gravity. It’s being built at a contract cost of $7.2 million to relieve the city’s Riverfront Interceptor during heavy rainstorms and thus prevent sewer overflows to the Willamette River.
The pump station is being built just west of the Wheelhouse parking lot, on what used to be a section of the Dave Clark Path. When the station is done, the path will be reconnected around it. (hh)