In 2019 the Commission broke ground on one of the largest wastewater projects to take place in the region in decades.
The York Street Pump Station and Connecticut River Crossing Project will serve 70% of the region’s population with a new pump station and three new pipes across the Connecticut River.
The innovative project is designed to address multiple issues:
- Infrastructure Renewal: A new modern station will replace an aging 1938 station nearing the end of its useful life and accommodate future growth in the region.
- Environmental Protection: Increased pumping capacity will prevent an additional 100 million gallons of combined sewer overflows from entering the Connecticut River in a typical year.
- System Redundancy: Three new pipes under the Connecticut River will add redundancy and improve service reliability for customers in Springfield, Ludlow, East Longmeadow, and Wilbraham.
- Climate Resiliency: Flood control protection will be increased through re-purposing the old pump station.
The project is a culmination and cornerstone of years of planning – specifically through the Commission’s Integrated Wastewater Plan (IWP). Adopted in 2014, the IWP was one of the first such plans in the country to integrate project planning for regulatory compliance (specifically, projects that fulfill an unfunded federal mandate to eliminate combined sewer overflows) and for infrastructure renewal (due to aging infrastructure and other challenges).
The result of the IWP are projects such as this that maximize ratepayer dollars by addressing multiple issues at once.
The project is being built on the former site of the York Street jail, and will connect to the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility on Bondi’s Island through three new 1,200 foot river crossing pipes. The additional pipes will supplement the two 80- and 50-year-old pipes under the river now, allowing for more regular maintenance and alternatives during emergencies.
The project also utilizes an innovative form of construction called “Construction Manager At Risk” (CMAR). Rather than designing a project and then sending it to bid for construction, CMAR incorporates the construction manager earlier in the process to help identify risks that may arise in the construction phase due to design. This garners more price certainty and minimizes project delays due to unforeseen circumstances.
A $115 million low-interest loan from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust State Revolving Fund (SRF) is the source of funding for the majority of the project. The SRF is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection with funding from the EPA and from repayment of past loans.
Construction commenced in 2019 and will continue into 2023.