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Riverfront pipeline digging starts soon

White Salmon seeking comments

Installation of a new wastewater collection pipeline to serve the riverfront district of White Salmon is about to get under way.

The new trunkline is designed for the collection of sanitary sewer from commercial and light industrial enterprises within the city's commercial land along the Columbia River west of downtown Bingen. The area currently has no sewer infrastructure.

The pipeline, which will total 6,625 linear feet in length, will serve portions of both White Salmon and Bingen.

Construction is expected to begin as early as March 1, and is tentatively scheduled to continue until about Sept. 1.

"The line will be installed on the north side of the highway [State Route 14]," said White Salmon Mayor Roger Holen.

Holen added that the "laterals" -- conduits for pipelines under the highway -- are already in place, so the road is not expected to need to be torn up.

"The construction won't damage the surface of the roadway except in one place," Holen said. "There are a couple places where the new sidewalk in Bingen will need to be taken up and replaced, but it's not extensive."

Roughly $1.45 million of the funding for the $1.67 million project is being paid for by appropriations from the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers. The federal money was provided because the sewer was needed to serve the newly built tribal fish processing plant on SR 14 west of downtown Bingen. The plant was built as part of the treaty that called for the U.S. government to build a series of "in-lieu" fishing sites on the Columbia River as mitigation against the loss of the tribes' traditional fishing areas when the Columbia River dams were installed.

"This [sewer line project] started when I was mayor before," Holen explained. "The Corps bought the property and said the city would have to put in a sewer, and I told them, `if you think we're obligated to provide that, you're wrong.'"

Holen pointed out that the project will bring some delays to traffic on State Route 14.

"That's inevitable with bringing in heavy equipment to dig," Holen explained.

The project will be handled in two phases, which are planned as follows:

Phase I: Construction of a new 10-inch diameter gravity sewer main and six-inch diameter force main for the Heritage Park & Ride Center site west of the Hood River Bridge to McDonald's restaurant along the north curb line of State Route 14 (MP 64.90 to MP 65.88).

Phase II: Construction of a new 18-inch diameter gravity sewer main from McDonald's restaurant to Willow Street to replace an existing 10-inch sewer line (MP 65.88 to MP 66.15). Includes a sewage lift station at the Heritage Park & Ride Center site that will include a well with duplex pumps, a control building housing piping and valving, an electrical room, and a backup natural gas generator. The building will be concrete block to visually match the Heritage Center building.

The White Salmon Planning Department, lead agency for the project, has determined that this construction work "does not have a probable significant impact on the environment." The city is inviting public comment on the wastewater line construction plan.

Comments can be sent or delivered to: White Salmon City Hall, Planning Department, P.O. Box 2139, 100 N. Main Ave., White Salmon, Wash., 98672.

The deadline for comments is Jan. 18.


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