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Published: Monday, 1/9/2006

East Toledo water main tops agenda of meeting

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The second phase of an ambitious water main project by Toledo's Department of Public Utilities is under way, and residents wondering how it will affect them are invited to a public meeting this week.

Officials from the city's Division of Engineering Services plan to discuss the East Side Water Main project at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the East Toledo Family Center, 1020 Varland Ave., where the public will get a chance to ask questions and provide feedback, said Scott Sibley, the city's engineering services administrator.

When the project is complete, he said the water main will boost pressure in South and West Toledo, especially in the areas of Dorr Street and Holland-Sylvania Road, and will help the city sell water to parts of Lucas County.

The first phase of the project cost $12 million and began in November, 2000. Fourteen months later, the public utilities department completed installing a 96-inch water main under East Toledo.

The pipe winds its way from Collins Park water treatment plant to Ravine Park II, where it splits into two new 72-inch mains. One connects with a main under the Maumee River serving North and West Toledo, and the other stops after a few hundred feet, waiting to be connected with the second phase of the project.

The second phase will take the main south, along the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines, nine miles across East Toledo and portions of Rossford and Perrysburg Township to the Ohio Turnpike Bridge, where it will go under the river.

Construction to bore through bedrock 100 feet underneath the river is expected to start this month to connect the main - ranging in size from 42 inches to 72 inches - with existing mains at the Anthony Wayne Trail in South Toledo.

The larger pipe will allow water to be pushed through with less energy while increasing the system's capacity for pushing more water to the western end of the service area, Mr. Sibley said.

"This will allow us to serve existing and future growth demands in the city," he said.

He said the city hired Ricman Construction of Sterling Heights, Mich., for three of the five contracts in phase two. The two others have not yet been awarded, and they are set to be put out for bid in March and begin this summer.

"What this whole project will do once it's all done is increase the reliability and strengthen our system by having more pipes and more ways to get water in case of a break," said Christy Soncrant, professional engineer.

The $45 million project is slated to be done by the end of 2007 or early 2008.

Inside the city limits, Toledo has about 1,200 miles of water mains, many of which are more than 100 years old. Unlike some cities that have multiple water-treatment plants, Toledo has one water intake, in Lake Erie, and one treatment plant, at Collins Park.

Contact Erika Ray at: eray@theblade.com or 419-724-6088.



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