The innovative project is designed to address multiple issues:
Climate Resiliency: Flood control protection will be increased through re-purposing the old pump station, and critical components of the new pump station are designed to withstand flooding.
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.
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 newly laid 1,200 foot river crossing pipes. The additional pipes will supplement the two existing 80- and 50-year-old pipes under the river, allowing for more regular maintenance and alternatives during emergencies.
The project also utilized 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 $137 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 with completion scheduled for late fall 2023.
The groundbreaking for the project was held in May 2019. Full construction commenced that summer.
The foundation to the York Street pump station is being poured, while the new influent structure on the Bondi’s Island side of the river is under construction. Environmental permitting for the river crossing portion of the project is being finalized.
The new influent structure on the Bondi’s Island side of the project is nearing completion. A temporary pier was completed over the winter to facilitate the laying of 3 new wastewater pipes across the Connecticut River. The pier will be used for staging materials to lay the pipes starting in June 2021.
On the city side of the project at York Street, construction of the new pump station is ongoing with the pouring and reinforcement of a foundation 50 feet below grade and walls.
Work ongoing in the river involves the installation of steel piles that will be part of the river crossing’s environmental control system. The environmental control system consists of a series of submerged screens and netting designed to keep fish away from the work area as well as to control silt during excavation.
Excavation will be done for the removal of legacy coal tar deposits that are located just off the east shore of the river, within the area of excavation for the river crossing pipes. The Commission is working with Eversource to safely remove the coal tar to a proper off-site disposal location.
At York Street, the pump station concrete foundation is complete. Installation of piping, utilities and equipment in the lower levels of the station is underway. Excavation for piping and underground structures to direct flow into the new station is also underway. Structural steel and masonry walls for the above-grade building part of the station will start to go up in September.
Tunnel boring machines will tunnel under the railroad tracks and flood wall in three places in order to install the three river crossing pipes from the pump station out to the river bank.
Excavation of the river bed will commence with the installation of the 72-inch pipe running concurrently. Sections of the 42-inch pipe will be fused together and floated out into the river and sunk into the trench alongside the 72-inch pipe.
The outside brick facade of the pump station was added while laying pipe across the river continues.