It’s the off-season in the Cape Region, which means it’s time for local governments to get infrastructure projects done. In Rehoboth Beach, two multimillion-dollar projects are well underway.
The most visible of the two is Phase II of the Lake Avenue streetscape project. Rehoboth commissioners awarded the $1.22 million contract to Newark-based Grassbusters in August. The federal government has put roughly $850,000 toward the project. The city has budgeted $400,000. Work began soon after Labor Day.
In email Nov. 19, Public Works Director Kevin Williams said the contractor has been doing concrete work on Second Street and the triangle surrounded by Olive and Maryland avenues. He said new stormwater pipes have been installed under Second Street.
Williams said lots of ancillary work has also been or is in the process of being completed – sewer lines under Second Street have been lined to ensure structural stability; street lights were relocated; fiber conduits have been installed under the sidewalks; and Verizon and city utility vaults have been relocated.
Williams said the contractor should be moving to the triangle area of the project in about another 30 days; they will repeat the sequence of getting all the concrete work done prior to milling up the existing surface and constructing the new base layer for those streets. After all the base work is complete, he said, the contractor plans to do the final layer of paving to the required grades.
Williams said this project is on budget and there have only been a few unexpected issues. He said the project is expected to be completed by the end of April.
Wastewater treatment plant upgrades
Much less noticeable, but arguably much more important, are the electrical and structural upgrades taking place at the city’s wastewater treatment facility off Roosevelt Street.
Williams said the purpose of this project is to improve safety and reliability of the system, and ensure the city is able to maintain compliance with its operating permit.
Williams said, to date, the primary focus has been getting the main electric feeder conduits and new transformer pad constructed so the new transformer can be installed. He said work has begun on cleaning and repairing one of the two concrete oxidation ditches and removing the two mixer assemblies from that ditch.
“Not much truly completed yet, but lots of things ongoing,” said Williams. “It’s a multiyear project, so [there are] lots of things remaining to do.”
This work for these upgrades costs roughly $10 million – $6 million toward services and installing new electrical equipment throughout the plant; $3 million for emergency work at the headworks building; and $1.5 million to build three of four mixers used in the wastewater treatment plant’s oxidation ditch. The city and Sussex County, which has an agreement with the city to use up to 42 percent of the treatment plant’s capacity, are sharing the costs for these upgrades.
Williams said work is on budget and the scheduled completion date is April 2022.