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Whitney-Tisdale sewer project 'progressing very well'

Council approves extra costs for both phases
2018-03-12 Station five MH
Pumping station five at 45 Florence St. in Porcupine. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

Work to upgrade the Whitney-Tisdale sanitary sewer system is "progressing very well', according to Timmins director of public works and engineering.

Tuesday, Pat Seguin updated council on the two-phase project to remediate the system servicing Porcupine and South Porcupine.

Council also approved spending an extra $585,454 plus HST for scope changes to both phases.

The additional costs for phase one at pumping station four are: $63,889 for preliminary design of foundation remediation, $48,851 for consolidation testing of foundation remediation, and $266,714 for detailed design of foundation remediation. There is also $206,000 for construction assistance on phase two, which includes pumping stations 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.

The staff report notes the figure doesn't include construction help for remediation work at pumping station one. Those costs are to be determined.

Work on phase one, building Pumping Station 4 and installing two stormwater equalization tanks at a site on Highway 101 just east of the Whitney Arena, started in 2014. 

Ground-settling and legal issues have contributed to the project not yet being completed

Work at the site stopped in late 2017.

Last summer, the city hired a company to do a geotechnical investigation of the soil near the holding tanks.

“The movement has stopped, so now it’s just a matter of stabilizing so that it’s on sound foundations,” said Seguin after the meeting.

Right now, he said the project is in the design stages to remediate the foundations and stabilize the building.

He expects a final design for the work in about two-and-a-half months.

“There’s geotechnical work to be completed, so drilling on site, with that information they’re going to complete the design,” he said.

While there's no firm date on when the work will be done, he said once the design gets done "we’ll be prepared to come to council and give them a lot of firm details."

Phase two is upgrading the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation systems, along with other work, at the remaining five pump stations. The $16.6-million project was awarded to Northec Construction Ltd. in April 2018.

“That one’s on schedule, it’s on budget, the work’s progressing very well. There’s a little bit of a delay right now because of spring thaw, we don’t want to replace some of the equipment when it’s in some of its highest demand right now,” said Seguin.

Before council talked about the matter, Mayor George Pirie cautioned members that the matter is in litigation and the questions should be related to engineering and technical matters.

There were questions about the total cost of the remediation project. 

Seguin said once the designs are done, it "should give us a very clear picture of costs to complete this project."

He said the total cost won't be known until the project's complete.

Upgrading the system is required for the city to meet a Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) director’s order.

The deadline for phase one was Feb. 28, 2018, while the second-phase date is Oct. 31, 2020.

Right now, in Porcupine and South Porcupine, when the system’s capacity is exceeded raw sewage is bypassed into Porcupine Lake.

“The idea is to reduce all those bypasses, so the work will work towards getting rid of all those bypasses,” said Seguin.