Press-Republican

July 27, 2013

Lake Placid awards $3 million sewer project

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Village Board has awarded the contract for its sewer-trunk-line project.

The work will be completed in two parts by Kubricky Construction Corp., based in Wilton.

“The bid involves two projects that are intertwined with each other,” Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said.

“Part A is to complete dam removal at Power Pond Dam and subsequent Chubb River restoration. The abutments of the dam will remain there, and an apron will be placed below the water. The contract amount of $767,680 was awarded for that part of the project. 

“Part B is installation and replacement of the trunk sewer line with the addition of one new line for $2,234,254.50,” Randall said. 

The firm was low bidder among nine bids received for Part B, he said.

The project bid was reviewed by engineers before it was awarded.

MORE EFFICIENT

The total, just over $3 million, is substantially lower than initial project cost estimates.

But that is because the project was made more efficient.

“Four years ago, when I first came into office, we were estimating the project at $4.2 million,” Randall said.

“With the removal of the dam, we were able to relocate the sewer line in a way that made it more cost effective for the village,” he said. 

“The trunk sewer line is being relocated to the side of the river at a higher elevation. It will cross the river in protected shields in a straight line through the Power Pond area and straight into the wastewater treatment plant. 

“Dam removal makes a much less complicated project for the village.”

CONSENT ORDER

The dam removal and Chubb River restoration portion of the project earned funding through the Environmental Facilities Corp.’s Green Innovation Grant Program, the mayor said.

“That is federal money coming through the state, providing a little over $1 million. It means the net cost to sewer users is about half what we originally expected it could be.”

The trunk-line project is part of sewer and water upgrades required by a State Department of Environmental Conservation consent order filed with the village in 2004, nearly 10 years ago.

In 2005, Lake Placid upgraded the antiquated wastewater treatment plant and replaced water and sewer lines in the village for a cost near $18 million.

The trunk-line project completes the infrastructure improvement ordered by DEC.

STEEL SHIELDS

Construction will remove two old sections of sewer pipe that run on either side of the Chubb River and replace them with one large pipe set at a higher elevation, allowing gravity to improve flow.

Where the new line goes into the waterway, it will be surrounded by steel shields, Randall said.

“Probably sometime next spring, they will lower the water at Power Pond to get the new line in. The three lines still running underneath the Power Pond have to be protected until engineers can redirect the sewer flow.”

The Chubb River is a tributary of the protected west branch of the Ausable River, a haven known worldwide by avid fly fishermen.

Trunk-line work will be completed in phases, likely working from the wastewater treatment plant backward toward Power Pond.

REMOVAL SPARES COST

Power Pond was created as a reservoir when Lake Placid used the dam there to generate electric power, a practice that ended in 1956.

The village did look at the feasibility of restoring hydroelectric power at the dam, the mayor said.

“Recent engineering studies found it is not economical to redevelop hydropower at that site now.”

It would have cost another $1 million to restore the dam, while removing it spared cost.

RECREATION PATHS

Work in the waterways likely will not affect Mill Pond in the center of the Newman section of Lake Placid. 

Mill Pond borders a busy business area at Station Street, which leads to the train station and out toward the hospital.

“There may be, during construction, occasions where they will control the level of Mill Pond so they don’t have water conflicting with their project,” Randall said.

But the water will not be drained.

From Mill Pond, the Chubb River flows into the Power Pond, which is east of Sentinel Road and not visible from the roadway.

“Ultimately, when the project is completed, we’ll have an area down there to be finished with some recreation paths to be used for biking, running, skiing,” the mayor said.

“We did a study on what it might look like in its finished state and the drawings are here in the Village Office.”

‘LIFE OF 100 YEARS’

The trunk-line project gained permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from the Adirondack Park Agency and from local planning regulators last year.

“We expect it will be completed sometime late in 2014,” Randall said.

“It’s almost 10 years since this matter first came to the village’s attention. Through study and engineering, I believe we reduced the cost of the project as much as we possibly could.”

Without the trunk-line improvements, development might have faced a moratorium, with expansion and growth in Lake Placid put on hold.

Completion of the trunk line should take care of village wastewater flow needs for the next 100 years, the mayor said. 

Ivan Zdrahal Associates, with offices in Lake Placid and in Clifton Park, is lead engineer on the project.   

Construction will likely start late next month.

Email Kim Smith Dedam:kdedam@pressrepublican.com