32 Road bridge may not hold sewer pipe

Plans for a pipe intended to carry wastewater across the Colorado River from Whitewater to Clifton Sanitation’s new wastewater treatment plant at 32 and D roads may have hit a snag.

The pipeline is proposed to traverse the 32 Road bridge over the river. But the bridge might already be overloaded with utilities, which could force a major redesign.

“That would have been good knowledge to have on hand as we made this determination,” said Commissioner Steve Acquafresca during a Monday Mesa County Commission meeting.

The commission was being presented with a $499,192 engineering contract. The contract, approved unanimously, hired Jacobs Engineering Group to design the second phase.

Julie Constan, staff engineer with the county, said no one realized there might be an issue with placing sewer pipe on the 32 Road bridge until the county put the project out to bid.

Some of the competing firms brought the issue to the attention of county staff, she said.

Pete Bair, director of county engineering, said that in 15 years Whitewater is anticipated to have 1,200 homes connected to the sewer line.

He said the cost to reroute the pipe is unknown at the moment, but it would only be a small percentage of the $4.1 million overall project cost.

In other action, the county learned that the cost of keeping a dirt road from becoming a dusty road has gone up dramatically.

Magnesium chloride, which acts as a clumping agent when sprayed on dirt roads, increased in price 14 percent over last year. The price of a gallon went from 49.2 cents to 56.1 cents.

On Monday, the county purchased 475,000 gallons for $266,475.


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