05 23 2015

City Receives Bids On 4th Street Sewer Project

By David Kapitan
Staff Writer
The latest chapter of the nearly yearlong saga surrounding the collapsed sewer line underneath 4th Street will likely add several additional chapters in the coming weeks.
The latest step in the process, the solicitation and acceptance of bids on the project, ended on Thursday, August 30. Much to the disappointment of Wills Point officials, the city received only two bids, each of which was considerably higher than the amount first estimated.
The project first came to the forefront in early November 2011, when a section of North Fourth Street in downtown was closed to traffic for a several days.
At that time, Mayor Deby Frye advised that workers had discovered at least 240 feet of collapsed sewer line lies underground on North Fourth Street, from the south most lane of Highway 80 to just south of the Rose Monument.
In a December 2011 interview with the Chronicle, Frye explained the scope of the project, saying, “It runs under the railroad tracks and the highway, meaning that we will have to, as we do any time we dig into or want to close a road, work with TxDOT and Union Pacific (Railroad).”
Sewage that would normally run through that line is now being diverted to an auxiliary line that runs along James Street. That line crosses the railroad tracks and ties into the main line near the Veterans Memorial on Highway 80.
“Thank goodness that auxiliary line was installed in 1988. It was meant to relieve the load on the main line for the north side of town, but now it is carrying the full load,” Frye explained.
The next step for the city regarding the project will occur at the city council meeting on Tuesday, September 11, when council members will hear presentations regarding the bids and consider what the city should do to move forward.

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