City officials did a little celebrating Wednesday as signatures for a much-awaited sewer project were given.
Years after plans to install a new sewage line on the city's west side were imagined, they finally came to fruition this week.
The estimated $980,000 project is scheduled to go out for bids next week and construction could begin in August. City officials are planning to install an 18-inch force main to run from the sewage treatment plant, located on West Columbia Street, to the North Jackson Street lift station, which is located on the east side of U.S. 231 North, just south of the railroad overpass.
Utilities Superintendent George Russell has explained that sewage back-ups have been a problem at North Jackson Street for years and IDEM officials ordered them to fix the problem. He told the board in January that there are an average of five back-ups a year.
Once the new line is installed, the city can install new, larger, pumps at the lift station, which they hope will eliminate the repeated overflows.
The plan is to run the new line from Madison Street, along Elizabeth Street to Rockville Road, then south to the sewage plant.
Russell said the new line will increase the pumping capacity of the North Jackson Street lift station from 2,000 gallons per minute to 3,400 gallons per minute, which he hopes will lessen the number of sewage overflows at the lift station.
When the city decides to complete the second phase of the replacement, the capacity will be increased to 4,000 gallons per minute.
After approving the project drawings at their Wednesday meeting, board members celebrated the fact that the project is finally going to begin.