Commissioners updated on Route 50 sewer project

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By Steve Robb, Messenger Staff Journalist


Design plans for the Route 50 sanitary sewer project are nearly complete, and on Tuesday the Athens County Commissioners authorized the project engineer to submit a permit application to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The estimated $28.8 million project is primarily intended to provide sanitary sewer service to housing subdivisions west of Athens along Route 50, with sewage treatment to be provided by the city. It will replace individual septic tanks and is considered an environmental project.

The commissioners authorized Schwieterman to seek a permit-to-install from the Ohio EPA.

“We are ready to submit all that this week,” Schwieterman said. He said it will take EPA three to four months to review the application.

He said plans will also be submitted to the Ohio Department of Transportation for permits needed due to the proximity of the project to Route 50 and Route 56. The commissioners authorized submission of those permit applications.

Permission also is being sought to cross under a railroad line.

“We’re making progress, we’re moving forward and we feel good about where the plans are at,” Schwieterman said.

He said the intent is to put the project out to bid in the spring of 2019, with construction to begin in late spring or early summer.

The number of homes that would be required to have grinder pumps to hook into the new sewer has been reduced to 44 from about 65. In response to a question from Commissioner Charlie Adkins, Schwieterman said a letter will be sent notifying homeowners that grinder pumps are not needed for their properties.

Schwieterman said HDR is working with the city on design of the connection points to the city sanitary system.

The number of sewage lift stations needed for the project is now 17, down from 20, which was made possible by adding another crossing of Route 50 and adjusting the locations of crossings, Schwieterman said.