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Clear Skies Shift Sewer Line Completion Into Overdrive

Sat September 30, 2000 - Midwest Edition
Kathie Sutin

Good weather and prompt delivery of materials brought a speedy conclusion to infrastructure improvements to sewer line at Caulks Creek near the site of the St. Louis County Water Plant in St. Louis County, MO, west of Hog Hollow Road.

Work on the $1.7-million project began in September 1999 and was expected to take up to a year for completion, but a combination of factors allowed workers to finish the project several months early.

Karsten Equipment Co. was working on the first phase of the work. According to Robert Butchko, director of engineering for MSD, this project is so extensive that it was done in phases.

Karsten went on to say that the good weather helped tremendously. “We got all the materials delivered to the ditch line via truck due to the good weather,” he said. “We got pretty lucky about pipes and other materials; they arrived pretty quickly.”

Because the material arrived sooner than expected, work on the project began earlier than expected.

“It typically takes two to four or even five months to get the materials lined up because of delays in shipping,” he said. “And, it usually takes about two months to get the job rolling.”

The work, the first phase of a multi-phase project, involved installing almost a mile of sanitary sewer pipe in sizes varying from 76.2- to 91-centimeters (30 to 36 in.) in diameter to prevent bypassing of untreated sewage into Caulks Creek during rain.

When all phases are completed, the existing Caulks Creek force main sewer will be eliminated, and a pump station north of Wild Horse Creek Road and east of Long Road will be renovated. The trunk line sewer serves 10,500 property owners.

Karsten said in areas where excavation was done — instead of compacting the soil — flowable concrete fill was used because the soil was too wet for compaction.

“The excavation went much smoother than we thought it would due to the low river ground water,” he said. The project work site was about a quarter of a mile from the river so crews expected more ground water.

Bids for the next phase, a $1- to 1.5-million rehabilitation project, will be let soon with work slated to begin in May. The entire multi-phase project to replace the old force main from the Caulks Creek Pump Station to the Missouri River Treatment Plant is projected at $14 million.

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