Morse Street sewer separation project moves forward in Portland

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PORTLAND — Work to direct storm water to Back Cove will extend past Washington Avenue later this summer with a $2.4 million sewer separation project along Morse Street.

City Senior Project Engineer Brad Roland said Tuesday he expects the job to go out to bid by the end of the month, with a September start date on a job that could last through next summer.

A storm water line will be placed next to the waste water line and eventually connect with the storm water line extending from near Ocean Avenue to Back Cove. The connection will be made near the intersection of Front and Johansen streets, Roland said.

“We will be threading our way back from Johansen Street, he said.

The waste water line will continue to flow to the Portland Water District treatment facility near East End Beach.

With the city job, the Portland Water District will also be replacing water mains in the area. The work to eliminate “combined sewer overflows” is often accompanied by other utility work, because the streets cannot be excavated again for five years after a project is finished, Roland said.

Morse Street and Washington Avenue-area residents can expect some lane closures and delays, but Roland said crews will try to minimize interrupted access to private driveways.

Crews will also try to get work along Washington Avenue completed so the street can be repaved before winter.

“Washington Avenue cannot be left as gravel,” Roland said.

The project to separate storm and waste water flow is part of a larger effort to properly divert waste water to East End Beach treatment plant. The long-term project is expected to take about 15 years and cost $169 million. The expense is funded through city sewer rates.

A similar project had been planned this summer for Deering Street on the peninsula, which would divert waste water to the PWD treatment facility and storm water to the pond at Deering Oaks Park.

Roland said Tuesday the job is expected to go to bid in September and the job to start in spring 2015.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.