A handful of engineering, utilities and water infrastructure projects have been approved by the Lake County commissioners in unanimous measure, including a resolution for a water main replacement at East Island Drive in Eastlake totaling $191,753.90.
As part of the division’s 2021 capital improvement plan, Lake County Sanitary Engineer Randy Rothisberger noted the timeline for the undertaking moved up from 2022 due to Eastlake’s participation, which includes taking up the cost for the design and a portion of the roadway work.
“The work covered by the specification includes replacing 630 linear feet of aged 4-inch cast iron with new 8-inch plastic, re-establishing 15 service connections and three hydrants,” he said
Three engineering agreements, part of the county utility department’s 2021 Design Plan, slated for construction next year are composed of water line replacements on Vine Street in Eastlake, estimated at $1,200,000, and on Atwater, Bank and Division roads in Madison Township, estimated at $650,000.
The first project will replace the existing 12-inch cast iron on Vine Street from Willowick Drive to state Route 91 in Eastlake and includes 4,100 lineal feet of 12-inch ductile iron pipe, new service connections and 14 new fire hydrants.
According to the department, the Madison project will replace the existing 4- and 6-inch cast iron on Atwater, Bank and Division roads. The entire length of the water lines for each will be replaced. The project will include 2,200 lineal feet of 8-inch ductile iron pipe, new service connections to the right of way and eight new fire hydrants.
The last project in the design plan will replace the existing 12-inch cast iron with 4,100 lineal feet of 12-inch ductile iron pipe, and include new service connections and 14 new fire hydrants.
The estimated cost is $880,000.
In general, we prefer to do preventative maintenance on our entire infrastructure,” Rothisberger said, emphasizing all projects are in early stages. “In order to maintain our system with these pipes, which last about 75 years, typically, we have to replace about one-and-a-half percent (roughly eight miles) of pipe every year to keep the system in working condition. We have about 550 miles of pipe in our water system, overall. Right now, the going rate for replacing pipe is about $1 million a mile that, at some point, we’ll need to spend.”
Fortunately for the county, the water system is “fairly young,” having been installed post-World War II. However, over the next 12 years the rate of replacement will have to increase to approach the listed percent of piping.
“As part of our budget carryover (contingency funds), we always have enough money to cover anything, significant catastrophes,” Rothisberger said, adding the department sees anywhere from 150 to 250 breaks annually. “We’re able to make them typically very quickly. Ninety percent of the breaks we deal with ourselves.”
In addition, the commissioners also awarded a bid contract of $1,074,603 to United Earth Works for Cell C4 expansion at the Lake County landfill.
Describing the project as significant, Rothisberger added the “fourth” phase of the expansion, with work including wall construction, pipe movement, road installation and fencing, prepares the cell for another 25 to 30 years of life capacity.
“The $3 million project will also include work regarding expansion of gas-collection, water-pumping and water-treating systems,” he said, noting the county has had no issues with the Environmental Protection Agency, which issued a permit to install for the cell improvement, or the Lake County General Health District, which conducts monthly inspections.
“If something comes up, we always address it immediately,” he added.