“Construction completion” has also been noted on a pair of other major CU water and wastewater projects, according to Craig Mullinax, manager, CU Water Division.
Completed projects include the Exit 20 Area Sewer initiative in which crews laid 5,825 feet of sewer line. This project was completed earlier in the summer.
Water Division crews also completed in August the Park View Elementary School and Minnis Road sewer line project involving the installation of 4,300 feet of line.
Cleveland Utilities will start a 9th Street sewer line replacement project soon. This will involve the installation of almost 1,000 feet of sewer line.
Completing the Benton Pike water main realignment is a major accomplishment because it marks another major step in utility preparation for the Whirlpool development. The project calls for Whirlpool to build a 1.4 million square-foot manufacturing plant and distribution center on Benton Pike near the Michigan Avenue Road intersection. It sits on a 121-acre site and will include access road improvements in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Groundbreaking by Whirlpool was originally expected to occur sometime around mid-October. It should be announced soon. Once groundbreaking ceremonies have been held, construction should begin immediately.
CU Electric Division crews have also been busy relocating existing lines and placing new poles in preparation for the same development. The utility is also developing a new power substation in the area that will serve the new Whirlpool plant and warehouse, as well as other existing and future utility customers in that region.
CU water crews completed the water main realignment at a cost of $358,568 to the local utility; however, Mullinax said he “feels good about” the project and that the local utility’s costs could be reimbursed almost entirely.
“We’re very optimistic we’ll get reimbursement for the entire project,” Mullinax said.
Individual contractors involved in the water main realignment included Cleveland Surveying, McWane Pipe, Piping Supply and Chastain Construction.
Mullinax pointed to a pair of other significant water line replacement projects in the hopper. These include an Emmett Avenue water line replacement. Others include replacement projects on Haywood Drive, Laurel Drive, Redbud Drive, Azalea Drive and Sycamore Drive. Mullinax said CU will work to complete these projects quickly because they involve road cuts and the utility wants to have these finished before the Cleveland Department of Public Works moves in with its own street repaving projects.
This partnership is one that CU and the city are working to sustain. It involves CU making necessary street cuts for line replacement projects ahead of any street repaving projects by Public Works. Maintaining this kind of open communication will prevent Cleveland Utilities from making new street cuts on the same city roadways that have been just been repaved.
Mullinax said Water Division engineers have also approved plans for a sanitary sewer along Lauderdale Memorial Highway for three lots. Developer is Dalton Properties, LLC. Engineers have also approved plans for water mains for the 87-lot Johnston Estates (Phases 1, 2 and 3) on Johnston Road. Developer is B&D Real Estate Properties, LLC.
Mullinax said Water Division meter sets are still lagging. In September, the division set 12 new meters as compared to 24 in September 2009 and 32 in September 2008. New meter sets are linked to new construction and this is generally used as a gauge for economic growth. As of late, it is serving as a gauge on whether the crippled economy and construction industry are beginning to recover.