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City speeds up water-loop plan

With all the Highway 10 construction scheduled west of Detroit Lakes in a couple years, the city is taking steps to slip in another project next year that will help with the 2015 highway project.

City Engineer Jon Pratt suggested the city complete a water main loop next year that was planned for the Long Lake annexation project. By doing the water loop project a year or so early, it would assist with the Highway 10 project in 2015.

Without the water main loop, there is only one line serving the Walmart-Kmart-Menards area, and if the main were hit during Highway 10 construction, the businesses could lose water. And if water wasn’t completely lost, pressure would be lost, setting off alarms and causing other issues.

“It’s just not a good situation,” he said.

Pratt said that other precautions can be taken before the construction to limit any water loss, but it would cost roughly $35,000-$45,000 to do that. He said while the looping project would be $350,000 and the precautions could be $35,000, at least at the end of the project, the $350,000 would be used, whereas the $35,000 is a lost cost.

The loop project is estimated at $350,000, and Pratt suggested assessing about $50,000 of that to the businesses in that area because of the benefit it would be to them. He said it’s different than a regular construction project where the business would be assessed because this is a secondary water main.

“It’s a fairly unique situation,” he said.

The city would bond for the remaining $300,000 of the project.

Plans for the “Grover Swamp” area, or the former site of the Grover truck stop, will include filling in 35 feet of wetland because it’s such a poor area for building. Loads of fill will be brought in to build up the area, only to have it sink about six feet.

In that area, the city will have to move some water utilities because of the shifting land.

Other sewer and water pipes along Highway 10 west of Detroit Lakes aren’t that old and will only need spot repairs, Pratt said. There is a portion on Morrow Avenue near MnDOT headquarters, America’s Best Hotel and Big Daddy’s Quick Stop gas station that will need to be replaced because it is old, clay tile instead of PVC pipe.

The project is estimated at nearly $1.2 million. That includes work done on sewer repairs, sewer laterals, two lift stations, water main improvements and hydrants. The $350,000 for the loop project is on top of the $1.2 million.

The city will hold a public meeting at the November council meeting to discuss the project more.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.