For much of the past week, a large crane has been at the intersection of State Road and Lee Street in Rehoboth Beach helping facilitate the reconstruction of a city pump station.
Work on the project began in early May. Public Works Director Kevin Williams said the contractor continues with excavation to get to the required depth for the new building. As part of the excavation process, the contractor has to install lateral bracing for the sheet piling that is currently supporting the excavation, he said, in an email July 26.
The load on the pilings increases with depth, which necessitates the bracing, said Williams.
The city is rebuilding the pump station because the concrete for the previous building was original to the 80-year-old structure and was damaged by exposure to sulfuric acid as part of operations. This pump station is critical because all of the city’s wastewater flow, as well as the flow from Henlopen Acres and North Shores, goes through it. The city budgeted $2.5 million this fiscal year for the project.
As part of the project, said Williams, there will be a large concrete vault – wet well – built underground where the pipes carrying the flows from the city’s various smaller pump stations come in and are then pumped to the city's wastewater treatment plant, which is about half a mile directly south. All the controls will be in the new above-ground structure, he said.
Once the final bracing is installed, the contractor has about 5 feet more to excavate to reach the new depth, said Williams. The last brace was expected to be installed July 27, and the excavation work is scheduled to be completed next week, he said. Once the depth is reached, the contractor will bring in select fill material to serve as the base under the new concrete wet well.
Williams said the contractor is expected to begin installing the forms and reinforced steel for the new wet well the week of Aug. 7. That will take a couple of weeks, he said.
Work on the pump station is expected to take about six months to complete. The contractor has set up bypass pumps to facilitate continued flow during construction.
Williams said the project is on budget and on schedule to be completed on time.
Rehoboth Avenue getting new lights in median
The city announced months ago that Rehoboth Avenue will be getting repaved after Labor Day from the traffic circle to the Bandstand. The city is doing the first two blocks; the state is doing the rest all the way west to the circle.
During a city transportation committee meeting July 20, Williams said the fixtures on the street lights in the medians of Rehoboth Avenue will be replaced. The new fixtures will have the same look as the current lights, but will be fitted with LED bulbs and have wireless capabilities that allow for more control, he said.
The plan is to tie the work associated with the replacement of the lights to the resurfacing project, said Williams.
Annual street paving locations announced
The city will be responsible for more than the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue this winter.
During the same transportation committee meeting, Williams said Scarborough Avenue, from Hickman Street north to Christian Street, and Laurel Street, from Bayard Avenue to Scarborough Avenue, will be repaved as part of the city’s annual street paving program. There will also be a water main replaced on Laurel Street, he said.