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Milton plans major water upgrades

Projects improve existing infrastructure, provide for new development
June 26, 2019

Story Location:
Coulter Street
Milton  Delaware  19968
United States

Milton officials are planning a new round of water-system projects to fix existing infrastructure and prepare for future development.

Public Works Supervisor Greg Wingo unveiled a list of 14 projects to town council June 3 that the town should tackle in the next five-to-seven years. Those projects will be discussed and refined by the water committee before going back to council.

At the committee’s June 12 meeting, two priorities were identified.

The first is replacing water mains at Atlantic Avenue and along Chestnut Street from Front Street to Coulter Street. Wingo said the project design is 95 percent complete, and once that work is done, the town can look for funding. Town Manager Kristy Rogers said she has begun preliminary discussions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for funding; while costs are not finalized, early estimates from town officials put the cost at about $1.2 million. Rogers said a better estimate will come once plans are finalized.

Rogers said the town may have to wait until next year to put in their request for funding and that the project could be subject to referendum.

The second project was replacing an existing water main from Atlantic Street to Cave Neck Road, upgrading from a 4-inch pipe to an 8-inch pipe.

This project, estimated at a shade under $1 million, is a priority because the larger main is necessary for sufficient flow to the upcoming Cannery Village IV development, across from Dogfish Head’s delivery entrance on Cave Neck Road. While the developer is responsible for paying for tie-ins to the system, it is the town’s responsibility to ensure the infrastructure is there to serve it.

Piggybacking off that project would be an extension of the water main down Sam Lucas Road. How the town gets there is still up for discussion.

Wingo has presented two options. The first, build a new main from Front Street to Sam Lucas Road then partway down Sam Lucas Road and cutting through private land before looping into Heritage Creek.

This proposal, estimated at $4.3 million, would require a 12-inch water main and an easement through privately owned land.

The second option, preferred by town officials but also more expensive, would go from Front Street to Sam Lucas Road, all the way down Sam Lucas Road and meet up with the existing system at the intersection of Harbeson Road and Heritage Boulevard. This would, in effect, loop the entire system together. This option, on town-owned land, has been estimated to cost $6 million. Wingo said the town will also need to hold talks with Tidewater Utilities to determine how the main would tie in to Tidewater’s new sewer plant to be built on Sam Lucas Road.

A number of the projects on Wingo’s list are already underway, including the new water main loop from West Shore Drive to Federal Street - which should be completed in the next 30 to 45 days - and a new well and water treatment facility at Shipbuilder’s Village.

Wingo said permits and testing for the Shipbuilder’s well should be completed in the next two to three weeks before construction begins. He said the new treatment facility should be completed by the beginning of 2020.

Among the newer projects are upgrades at the Chandler Street water treatment facility. Wingo said he wants to fix electrical issues at the facility and upgrade it to have the same system as the facility at Shipbuilder’s. No designs or cost figures have been presented or discussed.